Ruto Calls for African Union Reforms in 4 Key Areas

Ruto in Luanda Angola
President William Ruto during his address at the 22nd COMESA Summit of Heads of State and Governments at Luanda in Angola on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

President William Ruto on Thursday, June 8, warned his African counterparts that the continent risks failing to achieve its economic and political objectives due to individualism.

Addressing the 22nd COMESA Summit of Heads of State and Governments, Ruto called for the reforms of the African Union arguing that they were prudent in facilitating trade and development in the continent.

The Head of State explained that African heads of state and governments held too much power which he argued should be transferred to the African Union to make some decisions on behalf of the continent.

"As we strive to bring together our countries, it is important to appreciate that Africa Union needs urgent reforms. I have had an engagement with legislators of the Pan-African Parliament and implored on them the need to reform the African Union to conform with the current realities.

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"To ensure that the African Union performs at the level of its aspirations, it will be necessary to make sure that it empowers itself with sufficient capacity," Ruto stated.

According to the Head of State, the African Union's Agenda 2063 is a blueprint and master plan that was key in transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

The plan, which was adopted by the AU heads of state and government in January 2015 at the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, had remained passive which triggered Ruto to act.

He claimed that the implementation of the 50-year plan faced many hurdles due to individual country policies affecting various nations.

Ruto explained that Agenda 63 should, therefore, achieve inclusive and sustainable development on the continent since it was based on the principles of Pan-Africanism, the African Renaissance, and human dignity.

"Otherwise, African Solutions, Agenda 2063, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the Young, Clean Green Continent of the Future will never be a reality.

"The AU Reform Agenda must therefore be a priority and we must interrogate and conduct the process to ensure that structurally, the roles of the Bureau, Summits, Committees, Regional Caucuses, Secretariat and Commission are duly rationalised to give Africa a fit-for-purpose continental governance body with the capacity to engage globally," Ruto explained.

He noted that Agenda 2063 is an ambitious plan, but it is also a necessary one. Africa is a continent with great potential, but it is also a continent that faces many challenges. Agenda 2063 provides a roadmap for Africa to overcome these challenges and build a better future for its people.

"Member states must consider donating the power to AU on matters trade, regional and global security as well as other areas that Africa can benefit from engaging together rather than individually.

"We should merge the position of chair of the AU Summit and that of the AU Commission into one so as to give it sufficient leverage to engage on behalf of Africa," Ruto stated.

The implementation of Agenda 2063 is being overseen by the AU Commission. The Commission has developed a number of strategies and plans to implement the plan, and it is working with AU member states to ensure that the plan is implemented effectively.

Ruto stated that the Agenda 2063 is a long-term plan and asked the AU Commission to make significant progress in a number of areas, including economic integration, peace and security, and governance.

"Although there is a long way to go, I am satisfied that we are playing our parts in full, which is why we have come this far. I sense a renewed commitment to stronger economic performance at home and regionally, and a clearer sense of urgency arising from the unique imperative of this moment.

"I am therefore confident that through economic integration anchored on green investment, value addition and tourism, we are going to usher in an era of unprecedented transformation and prosperity for our people," Ruto stated.

The plan is also helping raise awareness of Africa's potential and its role in the global economy. With the commitment of AU member states and the support of the international community, Africa can achieve the goals of Agenda 2063 and build a better future for its people.

President William Ruto gives a speech at the Kenya National Drama Festival State Concert at State House, Nairobi, on June 2, 2023.
President William Ruto gives a speech at the Kenya National Drama Festival State Concert at State House, Nairobi, on June 2, 2023.