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Updated Mar 12, 2020


Not the Africa We Want

A memo drafted by the African Union Staff Association, and addressed to Moussa Faki Mahama, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, charges the leadership with serious allegations of cronyism and chaos. Leaked to the Mail and Guardian, a South African newspaper, it asserted that the appointment of  the head of Human Resources was "regarded by the staff as the manifestation of glaring cronyism and the total collapse of leadership.” It went further to state that "With you sitting at the helm of this organisation, the rules have been indiscriminately flouted and chaos prevails both at the headquarters and regional offices. The staff indicated that the moral fibre has decayed under your watch.” 

Chairman Faki's spokesperson, Ebba Kalondo, told the Mail and Guardian, without addressing the specific charges, that: “The chairperson has always engaged on organisational issues. In fact, he is the one who instituted the forensic audit currently under way in the organisation, amid other actions.”



Moussa Faki Mahama
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, addressing the 33rd Ordinary session of the assembly of the African heads of States at the African Unioun headquarters in Addis Ababa on February 9, 2020. Michael Tewelde/AFP


Why It Matters 

The African Union Commission is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of all African Union initiatives. Employees come from member states, and disgruntled employees may very well represent disgruntled states. Chairman Faki, who is a  former Chadian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, will have to answer to this staff revolt at a time when President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who heads the union's institutional reform process, has appointed a committee of experts to review the system of governance. This review is supposed to introduce changes robust enough to address the challenges facing the continent, and to deliver on the vision of Agenda 2063, which seeks to transform Africa into a global powerhouse.


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