Excellencies, in the interest of time and with the Chair’s permission, I will now report to you on all three of my mandates, namely Institutional Reform, Domestic Health Financing, and AUDA-NEPAD.
I wish to highlight some key points from the full reports, which have been submitted by the Commission for your consideration.
First, on the Institutional Reform of the African Union, the vast majority has been successfully completed since 2018, and the commitment of Chairperson Moussa Faki has been exemplary.
However, three items remain incomplete, despite Assembly directives in 2021, and again in 2022.
- One: The division of labour between the Commission and Regional Economic Communities;
- Two: Strengthening the working methods of the Peace and Security Council; and
- Three: The review of the mandates of the African Union organs and agencies.
There is no clear explanation for these repeated delays, and therefore this will probably require us to make some decisions which I hope I can raise as we move forward.
Instead, I recommend the Assembly hand over the responsibility for the remaining tasks to the appropriate offices of the Commission, or those handling the task be given more time, maybe so that we can review everything by July 2023. The management of that from now to that point could be handled by and directed by the Commission where we can also keep making our input.
Excellencies, it has been an honour to fulfil this mandate, which I believe has made our organisation stronger and more effective, even if there is still this work to do, and I thank you for the trust placed in me during this journey.
On Domestic Health Financing, three achievements stand out.
First, regional health financing hubs became operational in the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community.
I commend AUDA-NEPAD for leading on this, and encourage the fast-tracking of the remaining hubs.
Second, I commend the Government of Malawi for organizing the first National Health Financing dialogue, and encourage other member states to follow suit.
Third, good progress was made by the Commission on domesticating and digitizing the Health Financing Progress Tracker, and the Africa Scorecard.
Excellencies, investing more of our own resources and time in healthcare is essential for resilience against future pandemics, building pharmaceutical manufacturing in Africa with the private sector, and working with new partners, such as the International Vaccine Institute.
Earlier this week, I chaired the 40th Session of the AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.
I am pleased to report that His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, was elected as the new chair. We congratulate him and wish him the best in this role.
Representing AUDA-NEPAD in international forums, such as G20, I emphasized that Africa must not become a casualty of geopolitical tensions. What Africa wants and needs first is peace.
The rise in food and fuel prices has affected Africa disproportionately. Food insecurity has, in many places, become a crisis.
Accordingly, I believe that the proposal to make AGRA a specialized agency of the African Union deserves serious consideration by the Assembly.
The food security challenge also highlights the importance of fully implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area, and the value of technology platforms, such as AeTrade Group.
I commend Nardos Bekele-Thomas, and the entire AUDA-NEPAD staff, for continuing to work closely with member states, including the private sector, to implement Agenda 2063.
Regrettably, a major hurdle is the significant decline in voluntary contributions to AUDA-NEPAD, which puts a severe strain on the overall budget, and increases dependency on external partners.
We surely can do much better than this.
For AUDA-NEPAD to fulfil its mandate, it must be funded in a predictable and sustainable manner, in line with the ambitions that have been assigned to it.
Excellencies, once again, I thank you for entrusting me with these mandates, and for the cooperation and support I have enjoyed throughout this work.
I thank you for your kind attention.