Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, one of Africa's most divisive figures, ascended to the rotating chairmanship of the African Union on Friday.
Mr. Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known since independence from Britain in 1980, assumed the largely ceremonial role at an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
"By electing me to preside over this august body, with full knowledge of the onerous responsibility that lies ahead, I humbly accept your collective decision," Mugabe said as he was appointed at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The announcement was made during the African Union's two-day heads of state summit at the organization's headquarters in Ethiopia's capital.
Africa's longest-serving leader is still viewed with respect by many on the continent after he led Zimbabwe to independence, however, he is subject to travel bans in the European Union and US.