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
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