Addis Ababa, 10 February 2019

I begin by thanking you all, once again, for taking part in the Extraordinary Summit last November dedicated to advancing the institutional reform. In carrying out this assignment, it is impossible to overstate the value of the continuous advice and counsel that we have received from you. Allow me to use this moment to express my great appreciation for your support.

The consensus that was reached on key decisions marked an important turning point. There is still work to do, but we are on schedule and the steepest hills on this journey lie behind us. What is critical at this juncture is to sustain this good momentum and remain much more and better focused on results.

Excellencies, there are essentially only two matters requiring our attention at this Summit.

The first is the new scale of assessment for the regular budget and the Peace Fund. The Executive Council has prepared a draft decision for our consideration.

As you are aware, the decisions we take are based on a number of guiding principles, including the ability to pay, solidarity, equitable burden-sharing, and avoiding risk concentration. I am also happy to report that 50 countries have made their payments to the Peace Fund, which now stands at 89 million dollars.

The second item is the approval of the Panel of Eminent Africans, composed of one member from each Region. This group has the critical responsibility of overseeing the pre-selection of candidates for the senior leadership of the Commission. I call upon the Regions to conclude their consultations on this matter.

The consultative process on the reform of the African Union Organs continues. Several Organs have already provided detailed recommendations to the Commission, for which we are appreciative. These submissions will be independently analysed and reviewed by a joint retreat of the PRC and the Organs, before initial recommendations are presented to the Executive Council at its next session.

The scope of Africa’s political ambition requires an institution endowed with all the technical competence to deliver the results we want. The strength of our institutional reform is the constant search for solutions through dialogue and consensus.

Excellencies, I thank you for your attention, and most especially for your continued trust and support.