Paul Kagame

Can Kagame? The African Union

Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame

The continental group of 55 countries has long sought to reduce its dependence on the West, with limited success. Will 2018 be different?

This week is Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s first as chairman of the AU’s Assembly, its top decision-making body. He plans to remake the notoriously sclerotic AU in his own image: lean and ruthlessly efficient. But first comes financial self-sufficiency, which means securing big commitments from African peers.

Last year member states funded just 14% of the AU’s budgeted programmes, well below the 75% they committed to in 2015. A 0.2% levy on imports into Africa might more than double revenues, but implementation has been slow; 21 countries have signed up, but only Ghana and Rwanda have enshrined it in law.

Mr Kagame wants tougher sanctions for recalcitrant members. But it will take deft diplomacy to overcome opposition from big economies like South Africa—a skill not all are convinced Mr Kagame possesses.

*Source The Economist

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