African ministers to mull A.U. finance options

ADDIS ABABA – African economy and finance officials are set to explore alternative sources of finance for the African Union (A.U.), according to a Thursday statement by the pan-African body.

A series of meetings – including the 7th meeting of African Ministers of Economy and Finance of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and of the A.U., currently underway in Nigeria's Abuja – will be held to discuss the issue, the statement said.

A.U. Commission Chairperson Ncosazana Dlamini-Zuma arrived in Abuja on Thursday to join the talks, the statement added.

African finance ministers will refer their recommendations to African heads of state and government when the latter meet for the next African summit, to be held in June in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea.

Contributions from member states have been one of the ways the A.U. has traditionally secured financing. Not all members, however, have lived up to their commitments.

As a result, a few countries have had to make up for the shortfall. Egypt, currently suspended from the A.U. due to last summer's military ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi, has long been among the countries making extra contributions to the pan-African body.

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