President Ruto calls for urgent reforms at the African Union

President William Ruto in Zambia.[PCS Twitter]

President William Ruto has called for urgent reforms of the African Union (AU) to ensure a stronger economic performance in the continent and regionally.

Speaking during the 22nd Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of States and Governments in Lusaka, Zambia, Ruto said that he has involved other leaders on the issue.

"I have had an engagement with legislators of the Pan African Parliament and implored on them the need to reform the African Union to conform with the current realities," the president said.

Ruto implied that to achieve COMESA aspirations, AU has to empower itself with sufficient capacity to ensure that it performs as per its mandate.

"The AU Reform Agenda must therefore be a priority and we must interrogate and conduct the process to ensure that structurally, the roles of the bureau, summits, committees, regional caucuses, secretariat and commission are duly rationalised to give Africa a fit-for-purpose continental governance body with the capacity to engage globally," he added.

The Kenyan Head of State urged other member states to consider donating power to AU Commission on areas that Africans can benefit from engaging together.

"Member states must consider donating power to AU on matters trade, regional and global security as well as other areas that Africa can benefit from engaging together rather than individually. We should merge the position of chair of the AU Summit and that of the AU Commission into one so as to give it sufficient leverage to engage on behalf of Africa," he proposed.

Ruto expressed confidence in transformation and prosperity of African countries through economic integration anchored on green investment, value edition and tourism.

He said that Kenya has committed to pursue green investment throughout the country and had intentions of accelerating economic growth through increasing foreign exchange earnings, creating employment and reducing poverty.

He joined other Heads of State in deliberating on the status of integration in the COMESA regions as well as peace and security matters on June 8, in Lusaka.

During the summit, the host, President Hakainde Hichilema took over as the chair from Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt.

Ruto's visit to Zambia follows his recent visit to Burundi where he attended the East Africa Community (EAC) meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi to discuss the security situation in Eastern DRC.