African Union, RECS and RMs meet to coordinate implementation of the continental integration programme
The African Union (AU), represented by the Bureau of its Assembly, Chairpersons of the Eight (8) Regional Economic Communities, as well as Regional Mechanisms, held their third Mid-Year Coordination Meeting on the 16th of October, to harmonise and coordinate the implementation of the continental integration programme.. It was chaired by H.E. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Chairperson of the African Union for 2021.
On the agenda were three key areas i.e. African integration; division of labour between the AU, the RECs and the RMs; and the COVID19 situation in Africa. At the end, the leaders adopted their declaration which shall soon be made public.
President Felix Tshisekedi, highlighted that; “Africa needs to establish a specialized unit to monitor progress” on COVID19. He applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa who is the continental #COVID19 champion, for his work in acquiring vaccines, and promoting the manufacturing of vaccines on the continent. He also thanked the AfricaCDC Director Dr John Nkengasong for his contribution to the continental response to the pandemic.
President Tshisekedi obsrerved that the division of labour between the AU, the RECs and the RMs will lead to more efficiency, effectiveness and elimination of duplication, while rationalising the mobilisation of resources to implement continental development programmes.
The AU Commission Chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat noted that the African continent faces multiple challenges such as the health systems and political insecurity.
On health, he said “although the continent has been less affected than other parts of the world, it continues to confront the cruel effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added, “in spite of all the efforts being taken by the African Union and the member states in sensitizing the people, we have observed that we are relaxing on the precautionary measures”, and went on to encourage African people to comply with the vaccination campaigns.
Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat also observed that the continent needs to have more robust systems to beef up fragile democracies, adding that “we see a setback, with unconstitutional changes of government”, before stressing that “the African Union systematically supports the electoral processes through its electoral missions, and condemns any forms of military involvement in the electoral processes.”
He pointed to some areas affected by conflict such as Mozambique, East DRC, the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, and Libya, where he said the presence of foreign mercenaries poses a serious threat to the stability of both the country and neighbouring states.
He noted that all these challenges affect the programme of regional integration in Africa and that the AU, the RECs and RMs need to strengthen their linkages and make progress in regional and continental integration as enshrined in the Abuja Treaty of 1991. He added that the RECs themselves also need strengthening as they are not all operating at the same level