Economy, Africa

Financial independence critical for African Union's autonomy: Top official

Dependency on donations compromises bloc's autonomy, says head of African Union Commission

Seleshi Tessema and Addis Getachew   | 14.10.2021
Financial independence critical for African Union's autonomy: Top official

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Africans need to work together to ensure financial independence of the African Union (AU), the head of the AU Commission said on Thursday.

Our ongoing efforts to reform the AU are proceeding well and in line with the recommendations of various AU bodies, Moussa Faki Mahamat said in his opening remarks at the 39th meeting of the AU Executive Council.

However, he underlined that the organization remains dependent on donations, which compromises its autonomy.

“Our budget reflects austerity, reduced expenditure, and giving priority to the most important issues of the organization,” he said.

“But there is a burden between donation and autonomy of organization, and we need to depend on our own resources.”

This was the first meeting of the AU Executive Council in two years with in-person participation, though some members chose to attend virtually.

Christophe Lutundula, foreign minister of DR Congo, which currently holds the presidency of the AU for a one-year term, stressed the importance of fully implementing the envisioned AU reforms.

“Our aim is to make Africa more united and a powerful force to be reckoned with in the world,” he said.

The council will discuss various issues during two days of deliberations, including the AU reform agenda, security situation and anti-terrorism efforts across the continent, and nutrition and food security.

The controversial decision to grant AU observer status to Israel will also be on the agenda, with a number of countries, including South Africa, expected to convey their grievances over the move.​​​​​​​

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