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Communiqué on the appointment of the Board of Trustees for the African Union Peace Fund

Communiqué on the appointment of the Board of Trustees for the African Union Peace Fund
Photo credit: Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development

17 Nov 2018

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on 16 November 2018 appointed the five African members of the Board of Trustees of the African Union Peace Fund. This decision marks a key step in the implementation of the Financing of the Union agenda, which is part of the ongoing institutional reform process.

The Trustees, who represent the five regions of the continent, are:

  • Zainab Ahmed, from Nigeria, former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, who previously served as the Executive Secretary and National Coordinator of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI);

  • Kamel Morjane, from Tunisia who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence in Tunisian and held senior positions in the United Nations;

  • Elene Makonnen, from Ethiopia, who has worked in various senior advisory levels with the African Development Bank, World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa;

  • Tito Mboweni, from South Africa, a former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank and currently a non-executive Director for South Africa at the New Development Bank (BRICS Development Bank); and

  • Anicet Dologuele, from the Central African Republic, who served as the President of the Central African States Development Bank, as well as Prime Minister of and Minister of Economy Planning and Finance in his country.

In addition to these African members, the European Union and the United Nations will occupy two seats on the Peace Fund Board that have been allocated for international partners.

The Board of Trustees was established by the Assembly of the Union in July 2016 to ensure strategic coherence, enhanced governance, and financial and administrative oversight of the Peace Fund.

The Peace Fund will finance three key priorities: mediation and preventive diplomacy activities, institutional capacity requirements, and peace support operations.

The Chairperson of the Commission expresses his sincere appreciation to the Trustees for accepting this assignment in the spirit of service to the continent and pan-Africanism. He is confident that their proven track record in financial management, governance and investment financing will ensure that the Peace Fund will be managed in line with the highest fiduciary standards and integrity.

The Board of Trustees’ inaugural meeting took place on 16 November 2018 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.


Remarks by President Paul Kagame at the launch of the African Union Peace Fund

A good evening to you. I am very pleased to join you today to launch the African Union’s revitalised Peace Fund. Thank you for making the time to be here, especially the Heads of State and Government here present.

Promoting peace and security is one of the core functions of our Union. However, up to this point, we have lacked a credible mechanism to fund our priority operations in this domain. We depended too extensively on external resources.

This is why the Assembly decided in 2015 to finance 25% of the African Union’s peace and security activities. The Peace Fund is the endowment for that purpose. We decided that it should reach 400 million dollars by 2021. We also directed that the Fund’s governance structures be enhanced to ensure the highest fiduciary standards.

Thanks to the diligent work of the Chairperson of the Commission, supported by the High Representative for the Peace Fund, Dr Donald Kaberuka, we are well on the way toward our goal. To date, Member State contributions stand at $60 million, the highest level since the Fund’s creation in 1993.

With the money available now, we are 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.

Yesterday, the new Peace Fund Board of Trustees met for the first time. I would like to congratulate the Chairperson for persuading these five outstanding individuals to take on this important task for us. And I thank them for accepting.

When the endowment reaches its full strength, Africa will be in a strong position to drive the continent’s peace and security agenda toward the most appropriate solutions. As you know, Africa is pursuing a resolution at the United Nations Security Council to provide stable funding for African Union peace support operations. The relaunched Peace Fund is a critical piece of that architecture.

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. So this is a very happy occasion and once again, I wish to congratulate everyone involved.

We are now looking forward to hearing from this distinguished panel, and I thank you all for your presence and your kind attention.


Background

I.  About the AU institutional reform

The January 2017 Decision on the Institutional Reform of the African Union (AU) sets out a comprehensive AU reform agenda. It is aimed at fundamentally re-positioning the organization to meet the evolving needs of its Member States and the continent, and identifies the following core reform priorities:

  • Focus on key priorities with continental scope;

  • Realign African Union institutions, in order to deliver against those priorities;

  • Connect the African Union to its citizens;

  • Manage the business of the African Union efficiently and effectively at both the political and operational levels; and

  • Finance the African Union sustainably and with the full ownership of the Member States.

The AU Peace Fund is part of the overall Financing of the Union agenda. Significant progress has been made in its operationalization. The key highlights include the following:

  • Establishment of a Committee of Fifteen Ministers of Finance to oversee the AU budget;

  • Following the adoption of the ‘golden rules’ for financial management at the January 2018 Summit, a credible budget process is now in place as a result of which the AU 2019 budget was reduced by 12%;

  • 24 Member States are at various stages of implementing the 0.2% levy to ensure predictable and self-autonomous financing of the Union;

  • United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2320 and 2378 on predictable and sustainable financing of AU mandated peace support operations also represent significant progress in the drive towards delivering the AU’s long- standing position that UN assessed contributions should be used to finance AU-led peace support operations that are authorised by the UN Security Council.

II.  About the Peace Fund

The Peace Fund was established in 1993 as the principal financing instrument for the peace and security activities of the Organization for African Unity. Following the establishment of the African Union, the Peace Fund became one of the five pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The overall legal basis for the Peace Fund is set out in Article 22 of the Protocol on the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council.

In July 2016, the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government decided to endow the Peace Fund with $400m in Member State contributions to be drawn from the 0.2% levy that has been instituted to finance the overall African Union budget. The full endowment level will be reached in 2021.

Since 2017, the Fund has received the highest levels of Member State contributions since the establishment of the Fund in 1993.

The AU Assembly decided to structure the Peace Fund around three thematic windows:

  • Window 1: Mediation and Preventive Diplomacy;

  • Window 2: Institutional Capacity; and

  • Window 3: Peace Support Operations.

The relevant AU Policy Organs will have the political authority to guide the activities of the Peace Fund.

III.  About the role of the Board of Trustees

A Board of Trustees, made up of five African members representing the 5 AU Regions and two international partners, has been established. The role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure strategic coherence and enhanced governance, financial and administrative oversight of the Peace Fund.

The other elements of the governance and management structure are: an Independent Evaluation Panel, which will be established to regularly review the effectiveness and impact of the Fund; an Executive Management Committee, will provide strategic management oversight of the Fund; a Fund Manager, who will manage the finances; and a Peace Fund Secretariat that will manage the day to day operations of the Fund.

Source African Union
Website Visit website
Date 17 Nov 2018
 
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