The African Union (AU) Summit kicked off in Addis-Ababa this week, and it looks like this will be no ordinary Summit. The AU will be presenting its Agenda 2063, a decades long plan to ensure an integrated, peaceful, and prosperous Africa. This also links to the much wider debate in the development community on the next sustainable development goals (SDGs) which will be agreed in September.
The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), a think tank specialising in Africa-EU relations, has outlined four big discussions to look out for in the AU Summit:
Stability: a year of high risk elections
This year the citizens of at least a dozen African countries will go to the polls to elect their national political leaders. International Crisis Group have warned that tensions within and between major political parties, competing claims to the presidency and the violent Boko Haram insurgency are likely to steer certain countries including Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, towards a “volatile and vicious” electoral contest this February.
Security: The challenge of Boko Haram
As the African Union Heads of States meet to discuss the possibility of establishing and deploying a Multinational Joint Task Force in order to coordinate an all-AU response to Boko Haram. The outcome of the Summit is likely to involve some tense discussions, so will be interesting to watch.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission have, on their part expressed support to the establishment of a regional force.
Alternative sources of financing for the AU
The Ebola crisis highlighted the inadequate funding of the African Union, and it is clear there is a need to set higher levels of member contributions and enforce the compliance to these. Finding ways to mobilise funds from within Africa, Domestic Resource Mobilisation, continues to be highlighted as a critical factor for success.
The post 2015 debate
Africa is much better placed to take part in the SGDs debate than it was 15 years ago, when the original Millenium Development Goals were agreed. The AU has already set the scene for productive post-2015 discussions, and has made it clear they should be aligned with the Common African Position (CAP).
EXPERTS available for interview
Faten Aggad-Clerx is the Head of the Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management in Maastricht. Throughout her career she has mainly worked in Africa and on African issues with a focus on governance and development.
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Sahra El Fassi is a Policy Officer in the Africa’s Change Dynamics Programme.
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To arrange interviews please contact Emily Barker on firstname.lastname@example.org / +32 (0)2 237 43 81 or +32 (0)474 12 34 73
Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea.