AU foreign minisers agree three options for federal government

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- African Union (AU) foreign ministers on Friday received the Commission's analysis report in Addis Ababa, which outlined three different patterns for the setting up of a continental government, the Senegalese Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio told PANA.
However, the report was not debated during the executive committee's meeting, which started on Thursday, as Ministers decided to leave the question to the heads of state and government, who pledged to devote 1 February as AU government Day.
But, Mr.
Gadjo says he is delighted that the days leading to the proclamation of The United Sates of Africa have been shortened from 2025 to 2017, making it a transition period of eight years.
"Senegal is already committed to support the proposal, if adopted," he said.
Concerning the AU government, the report proposes as first option, the creation of nine cabinet posts in Health, Environment, Infrastructures, Peace and Security and Commerce, among others.
This government would be chaired by the president of the AU Commission, whose vice president would become his assistant.
The second proposal consists of extending the Union government to 16 members.
This is to say that seven others important persons would join the nine commissioners to form a government chaired by the commission president to be assisted by his vice-president.
The last option, which has been endorsed by some countries, is to create a government composed of 53 ministers originating from the organisation's member states.
But many ministers seem to disapprove of this option for its financial costs.
"This would cost a lot to the African Union," the Senegalese minister said, stressing that the main thing was to set up a government, where the ministers would have real responsibilities in areas exceeding their national competence.
According to Mr.
Gadio, the heads of state and government will have to choose between either turning the Commission into a governmental body, or setting up a government distinct from the AU Commission.
They will also have to define the funding formula and the commencement date of the government.
"Some want to have the government placed now, but it seems necessary to me to wait for 6 months again, until the summit of Madagascar is held, before designing the structures of the Union government," Mr.
Gadio said.
Senegal has already worked out a concrete proposal, on how to find resources required for its funding, he added.

30 january 2009 23:20:00




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