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African leaders, along with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the 28th Assembly of the African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 30, 2017 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

The African Union Has a Plan to Fix Itself. Will It Be Able To?

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

The African Union has a new face, following its summit last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Chad’s former prime minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is taking the reins as the new chair of the AU Commission. And for the first time, the AU’s membership now includes every nation on the African continent, following Morocco’s decision to return to the organization after withdrawing 33 years ago in protest over the status of Western Sahara.

But a new look won’t change the fact that in many regards, the AU is still a broken institution. Ninety-seven percent of the organization’s programs are funded by external sources. As of December, fewer than half of member nations had paid their dues; 15 hadn’t paid a single cent. In 2017, AU expenses are expected to run $439 million, of which African nations are scheduled to pay just 26 percent. The rest will come from abroad. ...

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