President Cyril Ramaphosa has led the South African delegation to the 11th Extraordinary Summit set for the 17th and 18th. The summit will discuss how to reform the African Union and make it more efficient by adopting fewer priorities.

Ramaphosa arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday morning accompanied by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

He looked composed and calm as he joined other Heads of State at the AU headquarters for the agenda of the day, the African Union reform agenda, an effort spearheaded by Rwandan President Paul Kagame since 2016.

“The purpose of the Extraordinary Summit is to advance the institutional reform of our union. Events on our continent and across the world continue to confirm the urgency and necessity of this project. The goal is simple to make Africa stronger and give our people the future they deserve,” says Kagame.

The Heads of State have decided that The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, be transformed to be the African Union Development Agency.

They will deliberate on its new mandate and they also admitted that over 70% funding of the African Union budget from donors needs to be covered with financing from African member states.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says the road to financial independence is long and complicated.

“The financing decision remains the heart of the reform. The road to financial independence is long and complicated, and our political commitment to fully implement the financing decision must be continually re-affirmed.”

The reform agenda suggests that the African Union reduces its priorities to only four: Peace and security, political affairs, economic integration and developing one voice on global issues.

The urgent need to reform the operation of the African Union comes in the wake of over 1500 resolutions made by the AU assembly, but a majority remain unimplemented.