African Union looks for economic independence

May 24, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
 People walk past the headquarters complex of the African Union (AU), which was a gift by the government of China and completed in 2012, on March 18, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
AFP/Getty Images

As the African Union celebrates its 50th anniversary since its creation the 54-member state organization's Executive Council approved a budget of $308 million for the organization’s annual activities, Erastus Mwencha the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson, said. But the Union seeks economic independance and for that reason the AU member states are committing themselves to provide resources to the Commission budget. The financial independence of the AU has been a source of controversy for a long time, as much of its working budget is financed by foreign donors. African countries pay for only about 40% of the AU's budget as China, the European Union and the U.S. pay for the rest.