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President Ruto roots for a stronger, more integrated Africa Union

President William Ruto reiterated Thursday that the African Union requires urgent reforms to make it stronger and responsive to the prevailing situation globally.

The Kenyan President disclosed during his engagements with lawmakers of the Pan African Parliament, that he specifically made a case for the need to reform the continental body to conform to 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,” he said

The head of state expressed concern that if the much-needed reforms are not undertaken, initiatives such as African Solutions, Agenda 2063, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the Young, as well as the Clean Green Continent of the Future, will never become a reality.

“The AU Reform Agenda must 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,” he said

To buttress its position and standing, President Ruto said member states ought to consider donating power to the African Union on matters such as trade, regional and global security as well as other areas, he believes, 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,” he said

“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,” he added

Ruto who is in Zambia expressed confidence that through economic integration anchored on issues such as green investment, value addition and tourism, the African continent will usher in an era of unprecedented transformation and prosperity for its people.

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