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African ministers meet over pan-African
bloc financing operations, programs 

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- African ministers on Friday wrapped up their two-day meeting over financing the operations and programs of the pan-African bloc at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The Union’s financing requirements are increasing with the evolution of projects and development programs of the continent, says the pan-African bloc underlining the need for reliable and predictable self-financing mechanisms of the AU operations and programs.

It is on this background that the conference of African finance ministers held the meeting to look at the modalities of the implementation of the “Financing of the Union” decision taken by AU heads of states in Kigali, Rwanda in July this year.

The two-day conference saw the Committee of Ten Finance Ministers (F10) convene to share ideas and best practices of implementing the decision.

The F10 representing the five African regions met to discuss the draft terms of reference of the F10 which among others include; the review and evaluation of the annual budget of AU before submission to AU heads of states; propose implementation mechanisms of the import levy in particular; the collection of the funds, transfer of the collected funds and peace fund management arrangements, according to an AU statement on Saturday.

The F10 are also tasked with defining a roadmap for the implementation of the Decision, reviewing the Status of the implementation of the 0.2 percent levy on all eligible imported goods into the continent to finance the AU operational, program and peace support operations budgets starting from the year 2017 while ensuring the effective use of these resources.

In her speech to the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that a milestone has been achieved for the Union to be at the implementation stage of the decision that was made in Kigali by the heads of states.

The Chairperson also emphasized the need for self-reliance of the Commission especially, as the driving force for Agenda 2063 and its 10 years flagship projects, which she added would be a challenge to realize, without sustainable financing.

She also urged the ministers of Finance to familiarize themselves with the AU Agenda 2063 and welcomed the Regional Economic Communities, such as ECOWAS and ECCAS experience-sharing of their self-financing model and the best practices.

Chairing the meeting, Henry Rotich, Kenya’s Minister of Finance, emphasized that the growing scope of activities of AU does not match with the availability of the Union’s resources.

“Our goal as Ministers is to ensure we come up with implementation procedures for sustainable financing of both the Union and its programs. This we shall do through brainstorming discussions as well as shared experiences from other countries and Economic Regions,” said Honorable Rotich

Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, presented the draft guidelines for the implementation of the Assembly decision on financing for the Union.

Mwencha encouraged the finance ministers to be more involved in the budget-making process of the Union, the scope of how the 0.2 levy will apply and also identify areas in which the peace fund shall be applied.




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