Uhuru-Spirit News


May 08, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Reforming the African Union to make it more efficient, less bureaucratic and financially independent of international donors is the heavy task that Rwandan President Paul Kagame was given in July 2016. The latter issued its report last January in Addis Ababa at the last summit of the pan-African institution. The principle of these reforms has been formally adopted by his African counterparts. From now on, it is a question of discussing the modalities of the implementation of these reforms. This was the subject of a meeting held in Kigali on Sunday, May 7 in the presence of the Rwandan president and representatives of the AU-member countries.

Not to repeat the mistakes of the past was the watchword of the meeting, as Donald Kaberuka, the former president of the African Development Bank and member of the reform committee, hammered out. "There have been many decisions taken by the African Union in the past that have not been implemented or have been partially implemented. Any reform is difficult, but the lack of reform only leads to future difficulties, "he said.

The most discussed reform was the financing of the African Union to make it more independent of foreign donors. While the principle of a 0.2% tax on certain imports has already been adopted, several countries, including Nigeria and Mauritius, have expressed concerns about the free trade agreements in which they have committed themselves.

In response, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, recalled that African states have committed themselves to setting up a continental free trade area, which would make it possible to legalize this levy for the countries concerned : "Some states have received correspondence either from the WTO or from the United States, but I believe that this should not prevent us, as a continent, from the interest and precisely to arrive at this integration to liberalize Intra-African trade and trade between Africa and the rest of the world, these are measures that will enable us to achieve this objective ".

It remains to be seen when such a free trade area will actually be established. The African Union member countries will once again look at these reforms at the upcoming summit of the Pan-African organization in July in Addis Ababa.

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