Pay up and make Africa a better place – Dlamini-Zuma

2014-01-27 16:11

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African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wants African countries to cough up to help make the continent a better place and to reduce reliance on foreign aid.

She told the opening session of the AU executive council in Addis Ababa this morning that the union would “focus on the issue of domestic resources mobilisation” this year.

This included initiatives such as the African Development Bank’s Africa50 fund for infrastructure development, the AU Foundation and the African Institute for Remittances.

At the end of March, continental ministers of finance, economy and planning will meet in Abuja, Nigeria, to talk about proposals on alternative sources of funding with the high-level panel chaired by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The AU executive council consists mostly of foreign ministers and is a scene-setter for the assembly of the heads of state summit which takes place on Thursday and Friday.

Dlamini-Zuma also said the AU Commission would “take some of the difficult decisions to ensure that it improves its institutional effectiveness” early this year. She did not elaborate about these decisions.

In June last year she told a joint meeting of the AU Commission and the UN Economic Commission on Africa, which is also based in Addis Ababa, that pan-Africanism placed “African self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance at the centre of the continent’s people’s struggles and efforts”.

At the AU’s 50th anniversary summit in May last year, African heads of state pledged to “take all necessary measures, using our rich natural and human resources, to transform Africa and make it a leading continent in … innovation and creativity”.

Dlamini-Zuma said infrastructure projects and integration were important to speed up the economic transformation of Africa.

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