The OAU Eminent Persons Advisory Panel is looking for innovative ways of financing the African Union outside the old structure of membership dues which are now in arrears to the tune of $54.5m.
Three new ideas are now being studied. The first is an AU Trust Fund, the second is a $1 levy on all international airline tickets to and from Africa, and the third is an appeal to both continental Africans living abroad and the African Diaspora to make monthly contributions to the AU, direct to the Trust Fund.
At the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Panel in Addis Ababa in early May, the consensus was that Africans should be able to fund their own operations.
"We don't need external financing because we don't want outsiders to control us," said a member of the Panel. His view will be broadly supported by the wider African communities inside and outside the continent.
Nothing has been decided yet, as the Panel is yet to discuss the details before presenting it to the heads of state who will have the final word.
In general, the AU can appeal to the patriotic feelings of continental Africans living abroad and the African Diaspora (which encompasses African-Americans and black people everywhere in the world) to make regular contributions through a standing...