Kenya is privileged to have hosted the 5th Africa Union Mid-Year Coordination Meeting from July 13 to 16, 2023 at the United Nations Office in Gigiri, Nairobi. African Union Heads of State, Government, Foreign Ministers and the African Union Commission led by Kenya’s President H.E. Dr. William Ruto came together to address among other things critical issues of African integration and division of labour.
H.E Excellency the President called for a reform of the AU focusing on the body’s financial autonomy and cited that Pan- African movement has always been about sovereignty and agency.
“First and foremost, chronic dependence even on well-meaning partners is inconsistent with the aspiration of independence, sovereignty and agency. I therefore believe that we must take seriously the recommendations that have been made towards making our organization an organization that stands on its feet, and an organization that is funded by us,” President Ruto said.
The Kenyan President pointed to the burden of debt many African countries carry thereby championing a fair financial system.
The meeting was convened under the AU theme of the year 2023 ‘Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area implementation’ which aimed at fast tracking the achievements of the flagship projects of the Agenda 2063 and the Africa We Want.
The African Heads of States meeting was preceded by the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Meeting which was chaired by Dr. Alfred Mutua, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.
CS Mutua called on African Member States to embrace integration, create synergies and also build on comparative advantage which allows free trade area among member states so as to unlock collective socio-economic potential in Africa.
“The destiny of Africa is in our hands to shape it to a place of prosperity, full of socio-economic activities and hope for our people. Present and future African generations deserve to live on a continent of hope and opportunity for all,” said Dr. Mutua.
The CS underscored the need for African Union Member States to deepen bilateral and multilateral relations citing Kenya’s commitment in abolishing Visas to citizens from AU Member States making it easier for investors to easily do business in Kenya and across Africa.
On the sidelines of the AUMYCM, Dr. Mutua signed the Protocol to The Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to The Pan African Parliament where Kenya shall ratify the protocol by September 2023.
Representatives of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), The Regional Mechanisms and the AU Member States attended the Summit.
The President of the Union of Comoros H.E. Azali Assoumani who currently chairs the Union was in attendance. Also present were H.E. Bola Tinubu (Nigeria), H.E. Abdel Fattah (Egypt), H.E. Macky Sall (Senegal), H.E. Ismail Guelleh (Djibouti) and H.E. Ali Bongo Gabon among others.