Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU) Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has lauded the decision by the Assembly of Heads of State to operationalize the Peace Fund initiative in order to finance peace and security operations on the continent.
Each of the five regional blocs under the AU are expected to contribute $65 million each year through an import levy of some 0.2% on eligible imports as a means of addressing funding gap the AU has been facing.
The levy is expected to increase to $80 million per bloc by the year 2020. ‘‘This is in fulfilment of the commitment by the Heads of State and Government made in 2015, to finance 25% of the cost of African Union peace support operations,’‘ an AU statement noted.
This is in fulfilment of the commitment by the Heads of State and Government, made in 2015, to finance 25% of the cost of African Union peace support operations.
The Peace Fund has three windows, Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation, Institutional Capacity and Peace Support Operations. It also has non-financial components including decision-making process for seeking funding from the UN assessed contribution for 75% of cost of peace keeping.
According to the Council on Foreign relations, as of May 2015, there were nine UN peacekeeping missions in Africa supported by more than eighty thousand troops (80 percent of all UN peacekeepers are deployed in Africa) and fifteen thousand civilians.
The largest missions are in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darfur (jointly administered with the AU), South Sudan, and Mali. Meanwhile, the AU leads a peacekeeping mission of more than twenty-two thousand troops and police in Somalia, known as AMISOM.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a bloc of fifteen countries, has a small UN-recognized mission in Guinea Bissau.