Nouakchott, Mauritania, Jun 30 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma joined other Foreign Ministers for the 33rd Ordinary session of the African Union Executive Council in Nouakchot, Mauritania.
The Executive Council is the second statutory meeting ahead of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit.
During the opening session Foreign Ministers discussed progress made on different fronts as well as challenges faced in achieving peace, stability and development on the African continent.
The Cabinet Secretary is leading the Kenyan Delegation to the Heads of State and Government Summit after President Uhuru Kenyatta was unable to attend the summit.
The theme of this year’s summit is winning the fight against corruption.
Estimates indicate that the African continent is losing to the tune of $50 billion in tax evasion annually, and is also paying huge amounts of money to poorly negotiated and inflated contracts, and enormous amounts of resources spill owing to corruption.
In an aspiration to deal with this, the January summit of 2018, agreed to focus attention on anti-corruption in the year 2018. Together with the fight on anti-corruption, the AU is also focused on a reform agenda to inject efficiency and effectiveness in its organs and programmes.
Making her contribution at the Executive Council meeting the Cabinet Secretary underscored the imperative of strong political commitment, institutional reforms and people’s participation in the fight against corruption.
The council also considered the state of humanitarian situations in Africa during which the CS underscores the need to evolve a holistic strategy that address both relief but also development needs of populations affected by disaster, as well as the need to build capacity of various actors to respond swiftly and effectively to disasters.
While commending the audit report of the AU organs, she insisted on the need to take action against any impropriety, strengthening their financial management systems as well as the Union’s capacity to supervise the management of resources by the AU Organs.
She underscored that the AU must, “enhance integrity especially at this time when our citizens are calling on their governments to account for every cent of public finances”.
On the AU budget for 2019, she lauded the Commission for involving the Ministers for Finance in its preparation, noting that this gives ownership and commitment to the process by Member States.
She also noted that the People of Africa and their respective governments have invested their dreams and aspirations in the African Union, highlighting that the Union offers the best platform within which the continent can realize the quest for: Peace and Stability; and economic transformation to assure a better life for all our people and an environment in which current and future generations can realize their full potential.
In Johannesburg in 2015, Member States committed to own the Union by funding it 100 per cent, and further reinforced that commitment by adopting the decision on effectively financing the Union through the 0.2 per cent levy on eligible exports in Kigali in 2016.
She said it is against this background that the Union needs adequate resources, both human and material, to implement the various ambitious programmes that will later be adopted by the Heads of State and Government Assembly.
During the Executive Council meeting Justice Ben Kioko was re-elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights.
Justice Kioko, a Kenyan, will serve for a second term of six years. He was first elected as a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in July 2012. He is currently the Vice-President of the Court.
The Cabinet Secretary will on 30th June attend the C10 meeting on UN Reforms, the Peace and Security Council which will deliberate on South Sudan and participate in a panel on empowering women leaders.