THE African Union Commission (AUC) will soon benefit from an $11.48 million grant from the African Development Fund to strengthen its governance and provide it with institutional support.
Approval for the grant, from the Fund’s regional public goods window, came a few days ahead of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, which closed on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
On the sidelines of the Assembly, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and African Union Commission Deputy Chair Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa met on Thursday, 3 February, to discuss the organization’s future and challenges. Nsanzabaganwa expressed the institution’s deep appreciation for the grant.
The grant will contribute to the Institutional Capacity Building for the African Union Project, a program designed to improve the AUC’s capacity to drive Agenda 2063. Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s vision for ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.’ It includes programs to boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to the rapid transformation of the continent.
In 2017, the AUC launched a comprehensive institutional reform process to make the institution more nimble, efficient and financially self-sufficient. The project will continue those reforms through upgrading its systems, as well as improving planning, coordination, and service delivery capacities.
Nsanzabaganwa said the funds will cover three main components: institutional strengthening; policy planning, coordination, and corporate service delivery; and project management. In addition, it contains important environmental and social safeguards and gender-sensitive considerations.
A portion of the funds would be allocated to the AUC’s Disaster Risk Reduction practices, and Climate Change Adaptation mechanisms, while support for women will include developing the Commission’s Gender and Youth Mainstreaming Guidelines and Scorecard and related activities over and above the support towards the AU’s institutional reform.
The African Development Bank has been a long-term partner to the African Union’s development agenda, supporting programs such as its Development Agency-NEPAD program for infrastructure development in Africa. It also supports the African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Climate for Development in Africa Programme.
The total cost of the project is $12.6 million, including an in-kind counterpart contribution from the African Union. Success of the project is expected to encourage similar contributions from other development institutions.