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Kagame calls for acceleration of African Union reforms

President Kagame during the second African Union mid-year Coordination Meeting on Thursday, October 22. Photo: Village Urugwiro

President Paul Kagame has called on the African Union Commission and African Union Member states to accelerate consultations on aspects of the reforms process such as division of labour.

The President was speaking during the second African Union mid-year Coordination Meeting

 

The mid-year coordination meetings were introduced last year following a decision adopted by the summit to have an ordinary summit annually as part of the ongoing African Union reforms

 

Kagame said while there have been several progress reports on the reforms process since 2018, it's time to complete the process and commence implementation.

 

“The objective need not be a detailed rulebook but rather clarity about how our continental institutions should synchronize planning activities and coordinate action. This is essential for mobilizing resources and avoiding duplication of effort,” he said.

With that, the Head of State called on the African Union Commission and African Union Member states to accelerate the consultations on the division of labour for presentation at the next summit.

Division of labour is aimed at ensuring that the African Union is not overwhelmed by duties that could be executed effectively by other agencies and reduces chances of duplication of tasks and consequently wastage of resources.

Kagame also noted the importance of forging more productive partnerships between Africa and the rest of the world.

“We cannot afford to continue with business as usual. The process to redefine the Africa-Europe or Africa-Asia, Africa-China or Africa-Russia relationship is one example among other areas of the world. It starts at the regional level and builds to the continent as a whole,” he said.

Providing an update on the East African region, Kagame said that the region continues to make good progress in implementing the single customs Territory and the Common Market Protocol.

“Numerous non-tariff barriers have been eliminated and 13 one-stop border posts are operational in the community, including one linking Tanzania and Zambia. The past year also saw the launch of a major effort to produce harmonized, high-quality statistics for our East African region,” he noted.

The East African Community, he noted, has also cooperated to develop protocols to maintain the flow of trade in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These include a regional electronic tracking system for truck drivers which is now operational to allow for the mutual recognition of testing certificates issued by partner states.

“These strides position the East African Community to contribute effectively to the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area and maximize the benefits of this historic agreement,” he said.

The Head of State expressed support for the current African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki, who is seeking re-election as well as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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