All 53 member states of the African Union endorsed the idea to form a Union Government, though views on how to achieve it remain divergent.
Some countries are of the opinion that member states should pronounce themselves on having a Union Government formed immediately, while others suggested a gradual approach based on certain benchmarks like regional economic blocs such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The summit adopted a report of the Committee of 12 Heads of State and Government which articulates a gradual approach based on eight (8) benchmarks and accelerators that should be put in place before establishment of the African Union Government.
The agreed benchmarks are: popularisation and internalisation of the core values underpinning the Constitutive Act; fast tracking of the Common Market and the African Economic Community; free movement of peoples of Africa; establishment of continental financial and monetary institutions; engagement and mobilisation of the peoples of Africa; coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of institutional frameworks; rationalisation of the Regional Economic Communities, and orientation of the African entrepreneurial elite towards regional and continental investment projects that advance unity and integration.
“The decision on this was that the Commission should draw up a roadmap and timetable based on the recommendations of the Committee of 12 States and Government and report to the Executive Council of ministers at the next summit in January 2009 in Addis Ababa,” Sam Kutesa, the Ugandan Minister of Foreign affairs told journalists at a press briefing on Friday in Kampala about the outcome of the concluded AU Summit in Sharm el Sheik in Egypt.
“Meanwhile, the AU has embarked on a major reform process to render the AU Commission and its organs more relevant to the ordinary African. We are also pushing for reforms in international institutions like the UN because Africa has undergone a transition and it should not be ignored like it was in 1945, when most African states were still under colonial leadership. Africa is now a force and reforms must be made to address the emerging challenges on the continent,” he noted.