Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Operationalisation of the proposed financial institutions of the African Union (AU) is now the main focus of the AU Commission, according to an official report presented to the organisation's Executive Council (a gathering of foreign ministers) meeting here Saturday.
"All our attention is now focused on the strategy to rapidly establish the financial institutions of the Union," AU Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare has told the Council's 10th Ordinary Session.
In his report to the Executive Council, Konare said the strategy was anchored on the creation of preparatory technical committees through which the African Central Bank (ACB), the African Monetary Fund (AMF) and the African Investment Bank (AIB) would become functional as soon as possible.
"I would like to thank and commend Member States of the Central Africa region for having decided to establish the headquarters of the African Monetary Fund in Yaounde, Cameroon," Konare said.
With that decision, each of the three major financial institutions of the Union now has its seat located.
Nigeria has been designated to host the future continental central bank in Abuja, while Libya is to host the AIB in Tripoli and Cameroon will have the seat of the AMF in Yaounde.
In a bid to ensure broad ownership of its strategy to speed up the establishment of the three institutions, the AU Commission has been consulting different stakeholders, including the Association of African Central Banks, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).
Further consultations were planned to be held in 2007 with more stakeholders, including regional economic communities, said the report.
While ground work for the proposed financial institutions requires financial resources, the AU budget for 2007 has not made adequate provision for the undertaking.
According to the report, it was assumed that the host countries would provide for members of the technical steering committees and fund the implementation studies.
The steering committees are expected to embark on their work in February 2007 and will be supported by a small secretariat at the AU Commission.