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Deputy Chairperson of AUC addresses PAP

May 18, 2011, 1:43 PM

Midrand, Johannesburg - The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), H.E. Erastus J.O. Mwencha, yesterday addressed the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on matters relating to finances and administration at the AUC.

Mr. Mwencha began by detailing the current economic situation in Africa, noting that in the next 15 years, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will double due to the growth of a middle class.

He went on to explain the logistics of distributing the AUC budget, revealing that the PAP, as an organ of the AU, received a share of 5% while other organs received 3.7% to 3%.

This year, the AU received a total of USD 286.7 million, of which 42% has been allocated to issues of peace and security on the continent.

On this matter, Mwencha raised his concern over the fact the AU budget was only allowed to grow by 5% each year. He cautioned that this would slow the resolution of key issues facing Africa today.

Mwencha went on to explain that, in Somalia alone, the AU was spending USD12 million every month on its peace and security initiatives in that country.

“We have huge needs”, Mwencha declared.

Most of these needs, he said, are being met by development partners, who are providing 92% of the budget, despite the contribution of some African countries. 

Mwencha described this as an unhealthy situation that needed to be resolved by finding alternative sources of funding from within the continent.

On this note, he announced that a panel headed by the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was formed to consult and come up with arrangements to assist in resolving this situation.

Mwencha concluded his report by saying that Africa’s future depended on how Africans work together and strive to develop together.