African Union (AU) Chairperson Moussa Mahamat on Thursday called on member states to strengthen efforts towards the pan African block’s financial independence.
Faki made the call during the opening session of the AU’s 32nd Executive Council’s meeting, comprising AU member states’ foreign ministers, at the pan African block’s headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Faki, who stressed the need to strengthen efforts to support AU’s ambition towards financial independence, said that “Without its independence Africa is nothing, with its independence Africa is everything.”
According to the chairperson, the year 2017 has witnessed an increase in AU member states financial contribution to the Union, while helping to decrease financial contributions from non-African partners.
According to Mahamat, the contribution from non-member partners for the AU’s Peace Fund was reduced to 74 per cent during 2017.
He also disclosed the plan to further down the number to 59 per cent during the year 2018.
AU leaders had adopted a financing proposal at the 27th AU Summit, which was held in Rwanda in 2016, to direct all AU member states to implement a 0.2-per cent levy on eligible imports from non-member countries.
The initiative mainly aspires to create an equitable and predictable source of financing for AU and to reduce dependency on partner funds.
The financing proposal targets to cover 100 percent of the Union’s operational budget, 75 per cent of its program budget and 25 per cent of AU’s peace fund.
As of December 2017, 20 member states were at various stages of implementing the decision.
Fourteen among them had also started collecting from the levy and deposited the funds at an account dedicated for AU opened with the central banks.
The Executive Council meeting, which is underway from Thursday to Friday, is expected to arrange the agenda for the 30th Assembly of AU heads of state and government.