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AU still determined to boost economic integration

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Much remains to be done, despite the several initiatives underway, to speed up the economic integration efforts and to end violence that has continued in different regions of Africa, African Union (AU) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat has said.

In his opening remarks at the 20th extraordinary session of the Executive Council on Wednesday, 14 November 2018, Mahamat said the meeting marks a new phase in the process of the institutional reform of the AU.

Mahamat noted that the ongoing institutional reform is one of the most ambitious initiatives for change ever taken by the AU; that it touches upon all the aspects of its functioning and concerns all its organs.

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“Attempts were made and member states have to recognise that the efforts were not at the level of the expectations,” Mahamat continued, adding that it “leaves a bitter taste of unfinished business.”

Speaking of the method of selecting its members and accountability, he emphasized: “Whatever formula is chosen, it is imperative to preserve the fundamental principles that have underpinned the composition of our commission since its inception – gender parity and equitable regional representation.”

“Reform is a holistic enterprise and cannot succeed if it is carried out in a partial manner,” Mahamat said, and further stated that, “the implementation must be gradual and take into account the difficulties inherent in such work and avoid falling into an unhelpful and ultimately counterproductive process.”

According to the AUC Chairperson, delay in the ratification of the instruments, lack of human and financial resources, and low level of implementation undermining the organs credibility are among the challenges the continent is facing.

He went on to call for sanctions on member states that would fail to make their annual financial contributions to the cash-strapped continental organisation.

The Executive Council of the AU is deliberating on issues including institutional reform, mandate of the AU Development Agency, division of labour between AU and Regional Committees, and strengthening African Peer Review Mechanism.

– APA

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