African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has launched, on 1 February 2014, the African Union Foundation at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In attendance were the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Erastus Mwencha, the AU Commissioners, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, PJ Patterson, invited guests and personalities.
Addressing the participants, Dlamini Zuma stressed that, although the foundation accepts funds from outside donors, there is need to have alternative sources of financing from within Africa so that Africans can claim ownership of the foundation.
“We should begin to fund our development ourselves,” said Dlamini Zuma.
Ministers of planning and finance have deliberated on the issue but will discuss further in detail in March, she added. Moreover, the issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. The AUC Chairperson called on the participants to act as good will ambassadors to the foundation.
Established by the AU Assembly in May 2013 the African Union Foundation aims to finance African Priorities through voluntary contributions. The Foundation will focus mainly on critical issues in line with agenda 2063.
Other priorities that will be funded by the foundation include the development of skills and human resource, women’s empowerment and gender equality, regional integration, youth development and entrepreneurship in Africa. Diversity management is also one of the main issues that will be addressed as it is a very important element for peace and stability.
The foundation supports and is derived from the African Union vision of “an integrated, people centered and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world”. It is created to accommodate voluntary contribution from African private sector, African individuals, Philanthropic organizations, African Diaspora, companies doing business in Africa and any other donations or contributions.
The issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance.
In this regard, it is deemed necessary for the various players including public, private and civil society to be mobilized to act in partnership to accelerate the pace of integration that has thus far been largely State led.