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Boussaid in Ethiopia to Brainstorm About African Union Financial Autonomy

Rabat – The F10 Committee meeting of the African Union Finance Ministers opened on Tuesday afternoon at the headquarters of the Pan-African Union in Addis Ababa. Mohamed Boussaïd, Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, is taking part in this rendez-vous for brainstorming the financing mechanisms of the AU budget.Boussaid took part in the meeting, extended to welcome Morocco and Nigeria for the first time as two of the the top five contributors in the union budget, culminating in an in-depth review of the modalities of financing the Pan-African Organization’s budget.Held under the title “Towards the Financial Independence of the African Union by 2020,” the meeting was also attended by Angola, Cameroon, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. The committee’s focus was on alternative resources and new funding mechanisms for the AU’s budget, which is still mainly financed by the European Union. Currently only 7 percent of the member states pay their dues, while 73 percent of the AU budget estimated at USD 522 million comes from external sources.The AU Reform Committee, led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, wants to break with this financial dependence by providing sustainable solutions, namely levy tariffs on imports from the continent by0.2 percent.This measure would allow more freedom for the African Union to function as desired by Alpha Condé, the head of state of Guinea and current president of the AU. The Union hopes that this new financing mechanism will be able to meet its operational funds requirements by 2022.For the president of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the “integral” and “rapid” implementation of this decision constitutes a “factor of credibility and effectiveness of the action of the African Union, including the implementation of 2063 Agenda and its 10-year plan.”Among the other considered reforms is the holding of a single annual summit in place of the two usual held by the Pan-African organization. Says Mahamat, “it is useless to meet every six months, to take decisions of which nine out of 10 are not implemented.”The AU F10 Committee was implemented by the AU Heads of State and Government at the African Summit in Kigali on July 2016. The Committee met for the first time in September 2016 in Addis Ababa and is scheduled to meet once a year. read more