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AU 2008 draft budget slightly up

The African Union (AU) draft budget for the year 2008, submitted to the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC), has been set at a little over US$139 million, representing an increase of US$6 million over the last budget, according to details obtained by PANA in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The draft showed a recurrent expenditure of US$93 million while US$46 million was allocated for AU programmes.

To Advisory Sub-Committee on Administrative, Budgetary and Financial issues, which prepared the draft ahead of next week’s AU Summit in the Ethiopian capital, projected some US$92 million from member states’ statutory contributions and US$32 million from the AU partners.

An outstanding contribution of US$1 million was also taken into account.

The Sub-Committee significantly reduced the proposals made by the AU Commission, which had suggested an 18% increase over the 2007 budget.

That proposal would have translated to a budget of US$164.7 million, out of which US$134.5 million will be for running costs and US$52.3 million for programmes.

But the Sub-Committee said “the low level of implementation of the 2007 budget does not justify a higher demand,” adding that “the budget should take into account the capacity of absorption of the Commission and that of member states to pay.”

Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee did not approve the US$2.9 million proposed allowances in the proposed budget of the African Parliament (PAP), while noting that the budget proposals covering allowances, extra time, medical costs, vehicle and building maintenance, among others, were very high.

Also, the Sub-Committee said the travel costs for parliamentarians must be paid by the states, since the PAP is still in a transition period.

It therefore recommended the removal of all non-approved expenditures from the 2008 budget, causing the PAP budget to drop from US$17 million to US$12.5 million.

The budget of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights was also slashed to US$1 million by the Sub-Committee, which set it at US$6 million.

The same applies to the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, which got US$7 million out of the US$10 million it demanded.

The AU Commission suffered the biggest cut in its budget, as its proposed budget of US$52.3 million was slashed to US$43 million


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