By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – To succeed in its mandate, the Africa Union (AU) requires adequate, predictable and sustainable funding.
But this can only be realised if the continent funds its own activities and stop its overdependence on external donors.
This was said by AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, whose office is overseeing the AU Reform Agenda.
The continental body has set itself an ambitious integration and development – the Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and First Ten Year Implementation Plan.
However, this will remain a pipedream unless Africans takes deliberate steps to correct the untenable financial situation of the AU.
During his recent visit to the Namibian capital, Windhoek, the AU Chair expressed his discomfort, saying 80% of AU programmes are funded by external donors. This he stressed that will not only undermine the autonomy of the Pan-African body, but also brought the credibility into questions.
During his three-day official visit, Mahamat expressed during his meeting with Namibian President Hage Geingob that Africa leaders needed to get tough on corruption.
He noted that close to $50 billion leaves the continent annually through corruption, which in the process hampering the socio-economic development of the continent.
“Corruption implies an issue of behaviour, meaning if political leaders behave a certain way which repels corruption, the country will end up corruption-free. So, we have to behave a certain way in order to curb and fight corruption on our continent,” he said.
He argued that African leaders should be accountable to public opinion and called on them to adapt policies of good governance to deal with “all the wrongdoings in their countries”.
The visit to Namibia provided an for AUC Chair an opportunity to deliberate on key African Union priorities such as continental integration, peace and security and AU institutional reforms with the Namibian political leadership.
President Geingob noted that it is critical to emphasize the importance of making our organization more responsive, effective and efficient to deliver its mandate as outlined in Agenda 2063.
“Therefore, the institutional reforms we have agreed to embark upon are cardinal to the success of the organization. Namibia fully supports the AU institutional reforms and is ready to play its role,” Geingob said.
The Namibian leader also assured the AU that the southern African country would implement the AU’s Agenda 2063 in order to achieve the “Africa We Want”.
“In this regard, Namibia is fully committed to the integration of our Continent and strongly believes that its own economic development depends on advancing regional and continental economic cooperation and integration,” he said.