Harare - The African Union (AU) has resolved that all member states are to charge a 0.2% levy on all eligible imports, in a move to limit donor dependency, the Chronicle reports.
According to Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's finance and economic development minister, funds generated through the levy were set to fund the AU Commission's programmes and to go a long way to relieve financial challenges faced by the organisation.
The resolution, which was effected by the AU's heads of state at a retreat held on July 16, would form part of the bloc's 2017 budget and see funds go directly to the commission, without having to go through the fiscus.
Rwandan Finance Minister Claver Gatete said that the funds raised would be collected by local revenue authorities and held in central bank accounts, from where they would be automatically disbursed, Bloomberg said.
With the commission's budget having been set at $447m for the coming year, Gatete said that member states would be punished for violating their obligations, should they renege on the decision, without providing further information.
"We should not be a burden to the donor communities, we should be able to finance our own activities, and this is the beginning," Gatete was quoted as saying.
Out of the total AU budget, 25% of the funds would go towards peacekeeping operations, while 75% would be set aside for development projects, Zambia's Daily Mail reported.
It was estimated that once the AU was able to provide 100% finances for its activities, the continental body would generate $1.2bn and woulld be able to meet the objective of self-financing.