Faki says AU makes progress in funding peace operation budget

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Photo By African Union
African Union

African Union members have made considerable efforts in contributing funds needed to maintain peacekeeping operations on the continent, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has said.

Faki made the remarks Thursday at the opening of a four-day retreat of AU officials in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, to discuss institutional reforms.

The reform agenda emphasizes on the need to focus on key priorities with a continental scope while realigning AU institutions to deliver on its objectives such as operational efficiency and sustainable self-financing.

AU members have increased their share in the budget in recent years, though the efforts “were thwarted by disruptive effects of the COVID-19 crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” Faki said.

Previously, the big budget of Africa’s peace and security operations was funded through the European Union’s African Peace Facility.

“As for the budget for peacekeeping operations on the continent, considerable efforts have been made … in the financing of the fund today at 330 million U.S. dollars against a target of 400 million U.S. dollars,” Faki said.

Manasseh Nshuti, Rwanda’s minister of state in charge of East African Community, emphasized the need to reduce reliance on external partner funding and increasing AU members’ contributions.

“The union’s reliance on external partner funding demands sincere discussions to achieve operational autonomy progressively,” he said, noting that since the Kigali Summit of 2016, AU members now fully fund the organization’s operating budget.

“However, the continued dependence on external partners for program budget and peacekeeping operations defeats the Johannesburg decision to achieve 75 percent and 25 percent Member States funding. These shortcomings raise questions about our commitment to peacekeeping operations and conflict prevention,” he said.

The retreat, facilitated by the AU Commission, brought together members of the AU Permanent Representatives’ Committee, African Union Organs, and the Regional Economic Communities.

Faki said a group of 15 finance ministers has been set up to strengthen the AU’s budgetary process, adding that the system of penalties for non-payment or late payment of the statutory annual contributions to the budget of the union has considerably been strengthened.

“This has led to a significant increase in the rate of recovery of member states’ arrears. Thus, from year to year, the institutional and financial landscape of the union is changing before our eyes,” he said.

The retreat will also discuss the processes underway to reposition the African Union to ensure it has the requisite institutional capacity to deliver on the economic, political and social vision of the continent as envisaged in Agenda 2063. Enditem

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