Author: Seleshi Tessema and Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
African leaders met on Saturday to decide on institutional reforms for the African Union Commission, calling these reforms imperative for Africa, to be able to speak with one voice on the international stage.
Institutional flexibility and independence, financial independence and the restructuring of the functions of the African Union Commission, as well as the division of labor between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (REC) is one of the key reforms discussed in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Speaking at the opening of the summit, African Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said that in the next two days, leaders will consider many options and decide on the future direction of reform.
The aim of these reforms is to achieve greater flexibility in responding to continental demands, Faki said, adding that progress has already been made in increasing Member States' financial contributions in the form of membership contributions, and placing on the import margin of 0.2% of the fee imposed on the Union. .
President of Rwanda Paul Kagami – author of the reform document – said in his opening speech: "We are on the right track and the end is visible."
So far, about $ 55 million has been collected in the form of import fees from Member States, according to Pierre & # 39; sa Moukoko, head of the Reform Reform Commission.
According to forecasts, in order to minimize financial dependence on donors, the commission hopes to collect an additional USD 40 million by 2020.
In his speech at the African Union summit since his arrival in April, the reformist prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, told the leaders: "Reforms also require responsibility."
In a competitive and interdependent world, mired in the conflict, Abiy said that Africans can not be alone, and reforms will lead the continent to achieve the principles and spirit of Pan-Africanism.
Within two days of the leaders, concrete decisions and guidelines are expected on the implementation of the reform program, including the establishment of a system of sanctions against Member States that do not make annual financial contributions.
The participation of gender and youth in matters of relationship is another element of the reform.