President William Ruto has said it is possible to build a more integrated, prosperous, and stable Africa. He said this must be Africa-driven by its own people, leaders and resources.
President Ruto stated that the starting point should be the reforming of the African Union.
He regretted that over five decades after independence, the continent still relies on external funding to drive its agenda.
“We must free the AU from constraints so that it can pursue urgent and critical interventions in the continent using internally-generated resources,” said President Ruto.
It was not right, he insisted, for over 60 per cent of AU programmes to be financed by overseas partners.
The President said the Pan-African movement has always been about sovereignty.
“The chronic dependence on well-meaning partners is inconsistent with this aspiration.”
He was addressing the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities, the Regional Mechanisms and the African Union Member States at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi County.
Present were Presidents Azali Assoumani (Comoros), Ali Bongo (Gabon), Abdel Fattah (Egypt), Macky Sall (Senegal), Ismail Guelleh (Djibouti) and Bola Tinubu (Nigeria), African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, among others.
The Head of State told the session that African integration is unstoppable as it will open doors for unprecedented transformation.
He pointed out that the African Continental Free Trade Area will be the world’s largest free-trade area, bringing together 54 countries.
“This single market will lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and boost incomes.”
The President explained that the success of COP27 in Egypt was a signal that Africa is taking off.
“It showed that Africa can speak in one voice and contribute to global development and climate action.”