The chairperson of the AU commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has said that Africa must be able to fund the African Union if the continent’s programmes are to be successfully implemented.
“We must fund our own organisation. You can’t have an organisation that is funded by outside people [and yet] you have [your own] agenda… I am proud to say yes, a decision was made last year that we must fund our own organisation – for operations 100%, for programmes 75% and for peace and security 25%,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
She said this in Pretoria where she engaged with South African editors on her blueprint agenda 2063 for the AU.
Dlamini-Zuma said that the AU had since agreed on the method to use to fund the organisation.
The AU resolved at a summit in Kigali, Kwanda, in July that all member states were to charge a 0.2% levy on all eligible imports, in a move to limit donor dependency.
Reports at the time indicated that funds generated through the levy would fund the AU commission’s programmes and would go a long way to relieve financial challenges faced by the organisation.
According to reports, the African Union currently took almost six months to intervene in a conflict on the continent. The organisation, therefore, wanted to cut that time by more than half.
Being dependent on foreign donors meant that the AU couldn’t intervene in conflicts the way it wanted to.
Dlamini–Zuma: “The responsibility of keeping peace and security in the world is the responsibility of the UN Security Council and that’s why Africa is fighting to be in the security council as a permanent member because it’s the permanent members who decide these things and Africa is absent there.”
She said that Africa decided to have its own peace and security architecture precisely because it felt that the security council was not prioritising African issues.
“When it was African issues, firstly it [security council] was coming [up] with wrong solutions, secondly, it was acting slowly and inadequately.
Even now, if you look at DRC, for how long has that peacekeeping mission been there? It spent billions but when the M23 [rebels] started to attack people, they didn’t do anything.
“It was the Africans who then insisted that there must be a brigade that will deal with the M23 so that it stops attacking women, children and the people in DRC. So I think we should all be fighting for Africa to be part of the security council,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma also made reference to Libya, saying that the bombings that took place in the north African country, leading to the death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, was a decision that was taken in the security council.
“It was supposed to be a ‘no fly zone decision’, but they went beyond that. The AU doesn’t have an air force to go and fight there…. We don’t control an army, we don’t control the air force, or the navy, or anything as the AU.
But what I can tell you is that the AU wants to silence the guns. The AU does try and control situations that happen,” she said.
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