The Head of the African Union Reforms Implementation Unit, Professor Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, on 14 June 2018, visited the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) accompanied by his deputy, Ms. Ciru Mwaura. The mission was a follow up of the AU Assembly decision made in January 2018, to further conduct consultations on the AU Institutional Reforms, and also engage on division of labour between the AU and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
Head of the Reforms Implementation Unit met the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, who was accompanied by Deputy Executive Secretary - Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo; and the SADC National Contact Point for South Africa, Mr Sandile Schalk.
In her welcoming remarks, H.E. Dr Tax, reaffirmed SADC’s support to the AU Reforms, saying an effective African Union is important in driving and achieving the AU Agenda 2063 vision of inclusive economic growth and development. She underscored the need to ensure that the reforms are done in an inclusive manner so as to facilitate ownership and smooth implementation.
On his part, Professor Mbonjo thanked the SADC Executive Secretary and her team for the opportunity to discuss the AU reforms and the reform implementation process. He said the visit to the SADC Secretariat was part of an on-going consultative process with key stakeholders on the implementation of the AU reforms. Professor Mbonjo gave highlights on the areas of the AU Reforms which include, financing the AU sustainably with full ownership of Member States, managing the business of the AU efficiently and effectively at both political and operational levels, connecting the African Union to its Citizens, focusing on key priorities with continental scope, and realigning the African Union institutions to deliver against these priorities.
The meeting noted that the comments on AU Reforms as submitted by SADC to AU are being worked on, and a formal response to the proposals that SADC made in May 2018, regarding the AU Reforms will be submitted.
In conclusion, both parties agreed that AU Institutional Reforms should be consultative enough, so as to ensure that Member States are in agreement with both the process and the outcomes, as this will facilitate ownership of the process.