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African Union Reforms

African Union Reforms

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In 2016 African leaders decided that Institutional Reforms of the African Union (AU) was urgent and necessary given the role the AU is expected to play in driving and achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063 vision of inclusive economic growth and development. Visit the AU website here.

Institutional reform

In 2016, Rwandan President Paul Kagame was tasked with preparing a report on accelerating the ongoing reform of the African Union. The reform process was triggered by the objective to ensure improved performance of the AU systems in delivering on development programmes and transformative initiatives that will accelerate the attainment of the first ten-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.

President Kagame appointed a pan-African advisory team to assist with the review, with whom he held a series of consultative meetings to identify the AU’s strengths and shortcomings, and consider proposals for reform. The outcomes report on the institutional reforms was presented to the 28th AU Summit in Addis Ababa on 29 January 2017. The report articulated major strategic issues that the AU needed to address to deliver on the promises of the founding fathers. Five mutually inclusive strategies were recommended by the report. These included: i) Focus on selected continental priorities; ii) Realign AU institutions to implement selected priorities; iii) Manage the AU effectively and efficiently at all levels; iv) Finance the AU sustainably by African states; and v) Connecting with Africans.

It has been recommended that the AU’s agenda should be focused on a fewer number of priority areas which have continental impact. Specifically, the AU should focus on issues related to Political Affairs, Peace & Security, Economic Integration and reinforcing Africa’s Global Voice.

  • The Imperative to Strengthen Our Union: Report on the Proposed Recommendations for the Institutional Reform of the African Union
  • Building a more relevant African Union: Report - January 2017
  • Decision on the Outcome of the Retreat of the Assembly of the African Union on the Institutional Reform of the AU (with Annex) - January 2017
  • Report on the Implementation of the Decision on the Institutional Reform of the African Union (Paul Kagame) - July 2017
  • Decision on the Progress Report on the status of implementation of the Institutional Reform of the AU - January 2018
  • Decision on the Progress Report on the Implementation of the Institutional Reform of the AU - July 2018
  • African Union Administrative Reform Roadmap 2018-2021
  • Feuille de Route Relative a la Reforme Administrative de l’Union Africaine 2018-2021
  • Infographic: The institutional reform of the African Union


Financing the Union

The Decision on Financing of the Union was adopted by Heads of State and Government in a “Retreat on Financing of the Union” during the 27th AU Summit in Kigali in July 2016. The Decision directs all AU Member States to implement a 0.2% levy on eligible imports to finance the African Union. The purpose of the decision is to i) provide reliable and predictable funding for continental peace and security though the Peace Fund; ii) provide an equitable and predictable source of financing for the Union; iii) reduce dependency on partner funds for implementation of continental development and integration programs; and iv) relieve the pressure on national treasuries with respect to meeting national obligations for payment of assessed contributions of the Union. The Decision entered into operation in January 2017.

  • Financing the Union: Status report - update, January 2020
  • Communiqué of the Meeting of AU Finance Ministers - August 2017
  • Communique de la reunion des ministres de finances de l’Union africaine - August 2017
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Financing the Union - January 2017
  • Report of the 2nd Meeting of Ministers of Finance Committee of Ten on Implementation of the Kigali Assembly Decision on Financing the AU - October 2016
  • Background Paper on Implementing the Kigali Decision on Financing the Union - September 2016
  • Meeting of Finance Ministers on Implementation of the Kigali Assembly Decision on Financing the AU: Summary Report - September 2016
  • Draft Guidelines for the Implementation of the Assembly Directive on the Financing of the Union - August 2016
  • Terms of reference for the Committee of Ten Ministers of Finance to participate in the preparation of the annual budget - August 2016
  • Financing the Union: Decision on the Outcome of the Retreat of the Assembly of the AU - July 2016


Peace Fund

The Peace Fund was established in 1993 as the principal financing instrument for the peace and security activities of the OAU and was launched on 17 November 2018 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. 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.

  • AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa (Lusaka Master Roadmap) 2016
  • Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Roadmap 2016-2020
  • AU Peace Fund: Securing Predictable and Sustainable Financing for Peace in Africa - August 2016
  • African Peace and Security Architecture - December 2015
  • Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union - 9 July 2002