Addis Ababa – President Kagame chaired on Saturday the 11th Extraordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly on African Union Reforms held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his opening address, President Kagame who was appointed to lead the AU institutional reform process in July 2016, commended the progress, reiterating that the project was becoming more urgent and necessary in order to make Africa stronger and give Africans the future they deserve.
“The purpose of this Extraordinary Summit is to advance the AU Reforms. Events on our continent and across the world continue to confirm the urgency and necessity of this project. The goal is simple: To make Africa stronger and give our people the future they deserve. I am pleased to note that we are very much on course. We have passed the halfway point and the end is in sight. But there is still very important work to do” President Kagame said.
The Assembly meeting is the culmination of the AU’s statutory meetings, and was preceded by the meetings of the Executive Council and the Permanent Representatives Committee.
The Heads of State and Government’s Assembly meeting consider and made decisions on:
Reform of the AU Commission (Structure and portfolios of the senior leadership of the Commission, Selection of the senior leadership of the Commission, Termination of the appointments of the senior leadership of the Commission, and administrative and financial reforms including performance management); Mandate of the AU Development Agency (AUDA); Strengthening of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); Division of labour between the African Union, RECs and regional Mechanisms, Member States and continental organisations.
In the afternoon, President Kagame delivered remarks at the official launch of the Peace Fund.
To date, Member State contributions stand at $60 million, the highest level since the Fund’s creation in 1993. With the money available now, AU is able to finance all of the preventative diplomacy and mediation work of the African Union’s Special Envoys and High Representatives, as well as the A.U. Liaison Offices, President Kagame noted.
“Many doubted that we would reach this point. And so we should indeed be proud of what has been achieved. But we must also redouble our efforts. If all outstanding obligations had been met, the Peace Fund today would stand at $100 million. I would therefore like to encourage all Member States to deliver on their assessed contributions as soon as possible. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is yet another sign that the Africa we want is increasingly coming into focus and is achievable” President Kagame added.
This 11th extraordinary session follows the 10th Extraordinary Summit in Kigali in March and the 31st Ordinary Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania in July.
In March, the continent witnessed the historic signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), as well as the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons. A total of 49 Member States have so far signed the CFTA.