Established by the African Union Assembly in May 2013, the African Union Foundation aims to finance African priorities through voluntary contributions. Its mission is to ‘mobilize resources in support of the African Union’s vision of an integrated, people-centred and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world.’ To accomplish this mission, the foundation will focus on five key programme areas in its first five years: 1) skills and human resource development, 2) women’s empowerment and gender equality, 3) regional integration, 4) youth development and entrepreneurship, and 5) advocacy and support for the African Union.
On 1 February, following the convening of the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, the inaugural promoters’ meeting of the newly established African Union Foundation was held and the first donations to the new foundation made. While the Tony Elumelu Foundation made a grant of $150,000 towards the start-up costs, a pledge of $100,000 was made by the Government of Jamaica, represented by Ambassador Carlton Masters, who indicated, ‘This underscores the commitment of the Diaspora towards African development.’
‘It is time for Africa to mobilize our own resources in support of our development and take charge of our own destiny,’ said Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. The foundation will strive to engage Africa’s private sector, African individuals and communities, and leading African philanthropists.