Rwanda’s President Kagame takes over as Africa Union chairman

Addis Ababa, January 28, 2018 (GMN) - Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame on Sunday took over the leadership of the African Union, hoping to the continent’s institutional reforms.

But Mr. Kagame, who was re-elected as President last August after posting a landslide win of 98.79 percent against his rivals, said his objective of a self-reliant and integrated continent would remain a pipe dream if he does not get support from other African leaders.

For the first time since he was elected last July to take over from Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, he chaired the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Thank you for your double trust. First as the leader of the reform process now as the chairperson of our union.

"I promise to do the best job I can. But I will need your full support,” he told the 55 AU Heads of State who included President Kenyatta.

During his 12 months in office as AU chairman, Mr. Kagame hopes to ensure that the organization becomes self-funded after a decision was adopted that all member states implement a 0.2 percent levy on eligible imports to finance the African Union.

The AU import levy will apply to the Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value at the port of disembarkation for imports arriving by sea and road and the Customs value at the airport of disembarkation for goods arriving by air.

Exceptions are made Aid or gifts destined for charity and those which the AU import levy has been previously paid. (Daily Nation)