Rwandan President Paul Kagame says the decision to adopt a new funding formula for the African Union Commission (AU) is a major step toward ensuring that the continent becomes self-reliant and able to fund its own investment and peace keeping initiatives.
African leaders meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, have agreed to raise R15 billion a year to fund the AU Commission.
Leaders have also adopted a new formula to charge 0.2% point-2 import duties to prop up the coffers of the cash strapped commission.
Currently, the AU relies on the United Nations (UN) and western donors to fund humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.
The budget for the continent’s administrative organ is close to $500 million US a year.
Kagame stressed the need for Africa to reduce its heavy reliance on foreign donors.
“We should be the ones to pay for activities in which everyone has a stake. We need to do things differently and better. If African challenges are treated as routine, we should reject that future.”
The renewed fighting in South Sudan dominated discussions at the 27th AU summit.
The recent clashes between armed forces loyal to President Salva Kirr and his rival Riek Machar has claimed more than 300 lives and forced many to seek shelter in UN funded refugee camps.