AU Summit: What to Expect in Addis Ababa

African Union members states have converged on Addis Ababa to, among others, elect the new chairperson of the AU Commission as well as eight other commissioners.

The bloc will also deliberate the re-admission of Morocco.

It quit in 1984 to protest recognition and admission of the Sahrawi Republic to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the AU predecessor.

Rabat considers Sahrawi Republic part of its territory.

Here is how the programme of the meeting looks like:

Meeting

Heads of state are expected to hold a closed-door meeting from 9am (0600 GMT).

Kagame Report

After the meeting, the union will adopt a report prepared by President Paul Kagame and his team on how to reform the AU and make it a more financially independent.

Kagame report has suggested that AU members fund the organisation through a 0.2 per cent levy on imports.

Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad and Senegal say they have already set up escrow accounts to collect these money and remit it to the AU.

But the confusion is on which type of imports the levy applies.

Ideally, the Kagame report implies that goods coming into Africa from elsewhere but this could upset existing trade agreements between individual African countries and the outside world.The Kagame team was tasked to draw up proposals after it emerged the AU is reliant on donor funds.

Eighty per cent of its annual budget comes from EU, US, Turkey and China.

In fact the report points at the perennial delays or even defaulting on member fees by some poor states within the bloc.

This has made the AU largely lame-duck, unable to respond to crises around the continent in time.

Photo Session

Thereafter, the leaders will emerge for a photo session.

This is what happened in July in Kigali when Pelonomi Venson Moitoi of Botswana won the elections but couldn’t get two thirds.

Chairperson and deputy chairperson cannot come from the same region.

It means that the fate of candidates for deputy position is tied to those of chairperson.

Each region gets two commissioners each, except those which gets chair and deputy.

They will get one commissioner each.

The regions are East, South, Central, North and West.

There will be no white smoke though, despite the fact that the voting will entirely be in closed door session.

Either rumours or official communication will be useful this time.

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