Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (PANA) - The African Union Commission (AUC) faces a serious financial constraint as only nine out of the 53 AU member states have fully paid their assessed contribution for the year 2011, PANA has learnt from AU sources, ahead of this week's summit of the continental body.
To compound the commission's problems, only three out of the 28 expected contributions from AU partners have been paid, amounting to US$20.6 million out of the US$124 million that was pledged.
The low payment rate has been attributed to the delay in signing the 'Pooled Partners Agreement', which was only signed in June instead of the first quarter of the year.
Also, Equatorial Guinea, the only member state to have pledged a voluntary contribution to the commission's programme, has yet to honour its pledge of US$370,000.
Midway into 2011, only Algeria, Angola, Eritrea, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Rwanda have fully paid their contributions, including current year assessment; 26 are in arrears; 16 have no arrears but have yet to pay for the current year while two have cleared their arrears and paid part of current year assessment.
The total contributions from member states so far amount to US$43.8 million, which is 35.7% of the total assessed contribution.
The low payment of the assessed contributions has worried the AU's sub-committee on contribution, which has recommended that member states be made to pay their assessed contributions at the beginning of the year to alleviate the financial constraints being faced by the
The committee also urged the commission to continue to remind member states that have yet to pay that they risk falling under sanctions.
So far, only two member states, Central African Republic and Guinea Bissau, are under sanctions because they have not cleared their arrears.
The exemption from sanctions granted DR Congo will be extended for as long as it honours its payment commitments, the committee said.
It also urged the commission to explore ways and means of improving collection from partners.
-0- PANA SEG 27June2011