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Friday, 28 January 2011

African Union faces financial difficulties

Projects and programmes financed by the African Union (AU) are at risk, unless alternative sources of funding are proposed by Member States during the forthcoming Ordinary Session to be held in Addis Ababa. For the last two years, the AU Commission has sought to supplement annual contributions by Member States through new finance plans in order to increase funding for its various institutions. The issue was raised at the opening of the two-day meeting of the Union’s Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), where members will discuss the budget proposal for the next two years. According to sources close to the AU Secretariat, finance ministers from Member States are considering a number of possible ideas for additional funding for the organization, but suggest that it was difficult to find agreement. Previously, it had been suggested that Member States raise funds through additional taxes on the more lucrative sectors of their economies, in particular oil exports, air travel, tourism and insurance premiums, in order to carry out AU strategic programmes. A decision regarding the proposal should be reached during the 16th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU due to start next week in Addis Ababa. The 2011/12 budget for the AU Commission, estimated at 258 million dollars, will be discussed by the Permanent Representatives and the AU Executive Board during preparatory meetings held this week. The Commission is being forced to rely more heavily on internal sources of funding as a result of the reluctance of external partners to release funds without greater assurances of proper accounting measures within the Commission.

Source: temoignages.re