President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on African countries to share the financial burden as they implement reforms on the African Union (AU) body.

President Mnangagwa follows deliberations at the 32nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa. Next to him is his Zambian counterpart President Edgar Lungu

Addressing the 32nd ordinary session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today, President Mnangagwa said funding remains a major constraint facing the reform process of the continental body, pledging to ensure that Zimbabwe plays its role in meeting its financial obligations.

“Funding remains the major constraint that we face as a Union, which must be a priority in the reform process. It is imperative that member states share the financial burden of our union through the timeous payment of dues. Let us wean ourselves from the donor dependency syndrome and strive to find our own agenda, programme and activities in line with the decision taken in June 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. My government is committed to play its part in this regard, by timeously meeting its financial obligations to the union, [and] I wish to encourage others to do the same,” he said.

Raising concern over reports of mismanagement of resources, the President added that member countries’ commitment and sacrifices for the sustenance of the AU should be matched by effective management of resources by the AU Commission and other organs of the union.

Cde Mnangagwa also highlighted that the reform of the AU should be accompanied by immediate reforms of organs such as the Pan African Parliament, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, among others.

President Mnangagwa also made a presentation on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), saying it will significantly promote investment, reduce the cost of doing business across Africa, and boost intra-continental trade.

“As you are aware, free movement of people not only has a significant impact on intra-Africa trade, but boosts tourism and increases cultural exchanges, thereby furthering the integration within our continent,” he said.

The President pledged his government’s commitment in undertaking internal processes to ratify the Agreement and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, Right to Residence and Right to Establishment.