President William Ruto emphasized the potential for a more integrated, prosperous, and stable Africa, driven by its own people, leaders, and resources during the Fifth Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union.
The event, held at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi County, brought together high-level representatives, including Presidents from Comoros, Gabon, Egypt, Senegal, Djibouti, and Nigeria, as well as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki.
In his address to the gathering, President Ruto stressed the necessity of reforming the African Union as a starting point to break away from decades of dependence on external funding for the continent's development agenda.
He expressed regret that, even after more than five decades of independence, over 60 per cent of AU programs continue to rely on financing from overseas partners.
“We must free the AU from constraints so that it can pursue urgent and critical interventions in the continent using internally-generated resources,” President Ruto asserted firmly, highlighting the importance of self-reliance.
Ruto further emphasized that the essence of the Pan-African movement lies in sovereignty, making it inconsistent to rely heavily on foreign assistance.
By advocating for Africa-driven solutions and promoting the use of internally-generated resources, he envisioned a future where the continent stands on its own feet and takes ownership of its development trajectory.
During his address, President Ruto lauded the significance of African integration, describing it as an unstoppable force that will usher in unprecedented transformations.
Notably, he mentioned the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is set to become the world's largest free-trade area, uniting 54 countries.
“This single market will lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and boost incomes,” President Ruto stated, highlighting the potential of this initiative to positively impact the lives of millions of Africans.
Drawing attention to the success of COP27 in Egypt, the President portrayed it as a beacon of Africa's progress and ability to speak with a unified voice on global development and climate action.
The achievements showcased during the conference demonstrated Africa's potential to contribute significantly to global efforts in addressing climate change and sustainable development.