President Paul Kagame yesterday arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is expected to attend the 11th Extraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly scheduled to take place today and tomorrow.
The AU summit is expected to exclusively discuss how the organ can be further reformed to efficiently deliver for Africans.
The summit will be chaired by President Kagame who is both the AU chairperson and the head of the organisation’s institutional reforms.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Richard Sezibera termed it as an important gathering of the organ that has been convened to review the AU reform process.
Among the aspects that are up for deliberation at the summit is the section of commissioners, readjustment of institutions within the AU as well as relationship with Regional Economic Commissioners.
“It is going to consider the reforms of the AU Commission itself, the way the commissioners are selected, their performance managed and the way the commission is administered,”
“It is also going to consider the reforms of other key institutions such as the reform from NEPAD to a new institution, AU Development Agency, a review of the African peer review mechanisms to make it more fit for purpose as well as the relationship between AU and Regional Economic Communities,” he said from Addis Ababa.
Kagame has been overseeing the reforms process since 2016 and is supported by a team of nine eminent Africans to steer the organ towards increased efficiency and effective use of resources.
The team is drawn from various fields of expertise and from different parts of the continent.
The AU 2017 Summit unanimously endorsed the proposed reforms and assigned President Kagame to continue with the work and champion the implementation phase.
During the summit that opens today which was preceded by a ministerial council, Heads of State and Governments will consider proposals on the reform of the structure and portfolio of the senior leadership of the AU Commission among others.
These are reforms that touch major aspects of the organisation and could determine its efficiency going forward.
For instance, the financial reforms could see the body less dependent on external funding and guarantee sustainability of the Commission’s activities.
The reform is through the introduction of a 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports in all partner states.
Already, a number of partner states have committed to the levy while efforts are still ongoing to bring all members on board.
During the summit, AU Heads of State and Government will also consider the options for a new scale of assessment for 2019-20210.