$45m member debt slows AU progress.

Position:African Union - Brief Article

The consolidation of the fledgling but all-important African Union (AU) is being held back by arrears in membership contributions that have now accumulated to almost US$45.4m.

A report last month by the AU's Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) revealed that 41 of the 53 member countries have total arrears of close to US$45.4m which have accumulated over the past 20 years, going back to the days of the OAU.

"We are in a very difficult situation," the AU Commission chairman, Alpha Omar Konare (former president of Mali) told a meeting of the PRC in mid-March. "We are facing challenges of inadequate financial resources which are hampering the activities of the Commission to execute its responsibilities due to being unable to recruit more staff."

But only 11 countries--Algeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Swaziland, Senegal, South Africa, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Mali have cleared up their arrears.

Others like DRCongo...

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