Rwanda President Paul Kagame has warned external forces are being upset by reforms being undertaken to realize an independent and stronger African Union.
“There is another critical point to be aware of,” said Kagame, “As evidence mounts that this reform is real and irreversible there have been expressions of polite surprise, bordering on discomfort, from external parties.”
He said “accommodating an articulate and effective African Union in the world order challenges entrenched interests and assumptions.”
Kagame made the remarks on Monday while addressing the African Union Heads of State Summit in Adria Ababa, Ethiopia.
Kagame was recently appointed by AU to come up with ideas of empowering the continental body’s self-sustenance and efficiency.
He would later appoint a team of experts whose report is currently being discussed by the African leaders in Addis Ababa.
It’s understood advanced countries were taking advantage of the African countries differences to exploit the continent.
Kagame emphasized that, “Even those who wish us well may have reason to discourage a more independent and organised Africa. We should be prepared to react accordingly.”
He further said this should only serve to remind Africa of the reasons they felt the need to make these changes in the first place.
“It is therefore important to prepare the framework for the upcoming partnership summit in Abidjan in advance, and within the spirit of our reform,” he added.
The President also discussed the Financing Decisions which imply an increased level of financial commitment from all Member States.
“There is no way around that. We have agreed to pay or even make sacrifices where necessary. In fact, I am glad to say that around ten countries have already started to implement what we have agreed,” said Kagame.
“However, the burden must be shared equitably and fairly and we will always listen to each other and find solutions.”
He said there was enough flexibility built in to the Financing Decisions to deal with any challenges that might arise.
“We have been here before in the past, only to retreat. We should maybe not want to repeat the same. We should look at this process as the last best chance for the African Union to fix its finances and enhance its capabilities and finally secure the esteem of the people we serve, of this continent,” said Kagame.
“The fact that many countries, almost one-fifth of our Members, have already begun to implement the 0.2 per cent levy on eligible imports shows that it can be done. Even more Member States are actively preparing to do so. They are all to be commended.”