Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    African Union must reform to stay relevant – Nigeria’s Buhari

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    Godwin Okaforhttps://naija247news.com
    Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

    ABUJA – The African Union must conduct a comprehensive reform if it is to stay relevant, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said at the close of the bloc’s two-day summit on Sunday.

    Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and the largest economy on the continent, making it an influential member of the 55-nation bloc that was formed to promote international cooperation and harmonise member states’ policies.

    The bloc decided in 2016 it needed to work on changes to make it more nimble, focused and accountable, putting Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in charge of the process.

    “Global realities demand that the AU be overhauled, if it must remain relevant in intergovernmental processes,” Buhari said in a statement at the conclusion of the virtual summit.

    “Nigeria demands a truly reformed, efficient and effective AU Commission, one that is fully committed to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities.”

    Buhari did not outline any specific changes he envisaged for the bloc that also has a peacekeeping mission that enables it to send forces to member states and has secured millions of shots of COVID-19 vaccines for the continent.

    In a report during the summit, Kagame said the AU needed to overhaul its judicial branch, the pan-African parliament and its commission structures.

    He said a division of labour with the patchwork of regional economic communities that have sprung up, sometimes overlapping, across the continent was overdue.

    “I ask the incoming commission to give priority attention to these items, so that they are completed this year, without fail,” Kagame said.

    He also called for changes that he said would strengthen African healthcare systems, including by ranking nations according to service, rather than per-capita spending, and the creation of regional platforms to support member states in increasing domestic health financing.

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