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General News of Monday, 27 May 2013

Source: XYZ

AU must wean itself from Western donors - Mahama

Ghana’s President John Mahama has suggested a total overhaul of the various institutions within the African Union as a step toward ensuring greater accountability and also weaning the Union off Western donor support.

He offered the suggestion at a meeting by African heads of States at the ongoing AU summit to consider ways of funding the Union.

President Mahama said it was high time the AU relied on its own funding structures rather than depend on outside funding for its operations.

Ghana’s foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, who is at the summit with the president, briefed the media after the meeting.

She said: “A lot of the programmes of the African Union are also development partner-dependent, and President Mahama made the contribution that, at the age of 50, you have to be taking care of yourself, so it’s important that we begin to develop funding mechanisms across the continent to support this organization if we believe that it is of such vital importance to help us to integrate our member-states”.

She noted that President Mahama’s point was that: “…With increased funding comes accountability, therefore, we will like to see an overhaul of the AU’s institutions and especially their budgeting and accountability process so that if member-states are being asked to contribute more money, they know exactly where that money is going.”

Hannah Tetteh explained further that: “At the end of the day, this is tax payer’s money and we are accountable to our tax payers for how we spend their money. By the same token, if we are going to increase our funding to the AU, the AU as an organisation also has to be more accountable to the member-states and make provisions for the other organs of the AU to receive adequate funds so that they perform their key mandate.”

The golden jubilee anniversary summit has seen President Mahama partaking in some bilateral and consultative meetings on the fringes in Addis Ababa.