Kagame’s AU reform team turns focus on implementation
President Paul Kagame yesterday met the African Union reform committee and begun implementation process, following the report of proposals presented at heads of state during the 28th AU summit in Addis-Abeba, Ethiopia on January 28th 2016.
The nine-member committee includes four women; Amina J. Mohammed – Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Mariam Mahamat Nour – the Chadian Minister of Economy, Planning, and International Cooperation; Cape Verde’s Cristina Duarte – the Former Minister of Finance and Planning, and Cameroonian economist Vera Songwe, the Regional Director for West and Central Africa at the International Finance Corporation.
Others are Rwanda’s Dr. Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Acha Leke – a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co.; Dr. Carlos Lopes, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Strive Masiyiwa – Executive Chairman of Econet Wireless and Tito Mboweni, former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.
The heads of states present welcomed the recommendations included in report titled “The imperative to strengthen our union” and the next step was to focus on its implementation in respective member states.
The AU reform task that was handed over to President Kagame during the 27th AU summit held Rwanda’s capital Kigali in July 2016, intended to come up with recommendations for institutional reforms to enable the continental body to scale back dependence on foreign aids and raise its own resources to run its activities.
On average, 67% annual contribution to AU come from member states while over 30% failed to contribute its part which created a funding gap between planned budget and its funding.
As a result, planned activities remain in papers and led to ineffective functioning. As per the new reforms, the financing of AU consists of implementing a 0.2% levy on eligible imports to finance the African Union.
Rwanda has already set a good example for other member states by making a first move to table the bill establishing the levy on imported goods before the legislature earlier this month.
The draft law which got lawmakers’ positive nod, will enable the government to collect about Rwf1.5 billion to finance AU operations budget.
Amb. Macharia Kamau – Kenya’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, expressed confidence in President Kagame’s team to refor AU. He tweeted: “AU Reform. In good hands and under good leadership. Onward and forward, my friends.”
For Carlos Lopez, a member of the committee, the meeting with their team leader – President Kagame, hugely turned focus on implementation of activities.
“The group working under President Kagame had another round of consultations in Rwanda, now turning attention to implementation.”
The convened meeting aimed at supervising the implementation process in preparation of the meeting with the outgoing and incoming AU Chairperson, President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad and President Alpha Conde of Guinea respectively scheduled in the coming weeks, according to a communique from the office of the President.
“Additional consultations will continue with other stakeholders, in particular the incoming Chairperson of the Commission, with a view to putting the reform mechanism into operation without delay,” reads part of the communique.
President Kagame will present his first report on the progress made in implementing the decision of the Heads of State on institutional reform at the 29th Summit in July this year.