The purpose of the reform is to give it more political weight against the states.
In particular to enforce the decisions that the leaders themselves adopt. An AU source puts forward the figure of only 10% of decisions implemented.
The president of the Commission must become the true boss of his administration. He will always be elected by the heads of state. But its commissioners will be appointed by the foreign ministers. This establishes the internal hierarchy better.
Candidates for the executive position of the AU Executive will go through a process worthy of the private sector: online CV, profession of faith, televised debate and grand oral face leaders.
The idea is to select competent politicians and technicians more than mere policies with interstate arrangements.
By the June summit in Niamey, Niger, the current team around Moussa Faki Mahamat must work on a new internal organization: who does what and how much it costs too. Because the continental institution also seeks less and better spending.
The number of commissioners will go from 10 to 8. Among the other points adopted, the strengthening of the sanctions against the States bad payers. They can now go from the prohibition of speech to the complete exclusion of the country from the African Union.
The reform must be applied gradually. Financial penalties are effective immediately. The reform of the Commission will concern the next team to be elected in January 2021.
■ Analysis of the summit
“This is the first time a summit of heads of state has met to discuss reforms. This is what the Cameroonian Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, the “Mr reforms” of the AU, says.
The new way of appointing the commission and especially its president and vice-president will change things, he wants to believe.
There will be more skills, less politics; the commission will be tightened, it will share better the work with the standard regional organizations Cédéao or SADC. Sanctions are thus hardened against the many States that are slow to pay or do not pay their contribution at all.
But questions have been left out: the new scale of contributions. Pushed back to February. In two years, Paul Kagame will have succeeded with his teams and the commission to convince. The Rwandan president “will have, as he wanted, his name engraved in the history of the AU,” smiles a member of a delegation.
But he abandoned ideas along the way. “Revolutionary” ideas for a senior institution.
The President of the Union in 2018 has faced, according to him, the blockages of some countries of Southern Africa and North Africa. “It’s a process,” says Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo.
A process launched, which is not sure that the next president of the AU, from February, the Egyptian Al-Sissi is very eager to facilitate the road.