AU to restrict donors who attach conditions to funds

Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

The African Union could block future donors who put conditions on their funds in one of the proposals to make the continental bloc self-sufficient.

An exterior view of the African Union building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

African Union President Moussa Faki Mahamat told a meeting of foreign ministers from member states that the continental body, as part of its ongoing reforms, will reject funds from entities seeking to misappropriate funds. organizations of its core values.

In an opening speech at the 39th Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council, Mahamat said the organization now seeks a balance between interactions with outside organizations and maintaining the identity of the bloc.

“The two components of such a balance have been identified as, on the one hand, the non-acceptance of funds from partners with conditionalities at odds with the fundamental values ​​of our Union and, on the other hand, funding from funds. own Union programs deemed sensitive, ”he declared in Addis Ababa.

The Council, which is made up of ministers responsible for foreign affairs and Africa’s regional integration, was meeting amid an effort to change the organizational structure of the African Union, previously detached from the realities of the continent.

In February of this year, during the 38th session, the Council issued a proposal to reform the entire institution of the African Union, including by merging the departments of its Commission and changing the workflow and communication channels.

However, one thing appeared to be a thumbs-up: the African Union, a 55-member organization, was inherently donor-dependent, and yet internal measures to avoid waste were weak.

“The entrenchment of the practice of good administrative and financial governance within the African Union can only be done through the primacy given to auditing,” Faki told ministers on Thursday in an opening speech. of the two-day meeting.

“This offers the possibility of early detection of dysfunctions and other breaches of regulatory provisions, but above all of putting in place corrective measures, the strict application of which reverses the trend towards impunity.

The AU Commission boss won his second four-year term this year unopposed. But it was on a promise to right the wrongs seen in the first term, which had made the AU lethargic in its crisis response as it was generally financially constrained. The leaders had agreed on a general method of contribution, including regular fees levied on things like plane tickets or imports that would be remitted to the AU.

(With the contribution of the agencies)

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