To help stop depending on aid funding, Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has donated 300 cows to raise money for the Africa Union (AU) Foundation.
Mugabe handed a $1 million cheque to the African Union at its leaders’ summit in Ethiopia and said his friends helped contribute to the noble cause.
“Zimbabwe has auctioned cattle worth $1 million to raise money for the African Union Foundation to help end the “donor dependency syndrome…this modest contribution is a symbolic step towards helping the donor dependency syndrome in Africa,” President Mugabe said.
Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the cattle had been mostly donated by farmers who had benefited from land reforms.
Mumbengegwi said that the donation was an expansion in 2015 pledge by Mugabe to donate 300 cattle. He added that the donation was significant as it showed that the AU could find innovative ways to raise money for its projects.
In 2014 in Arusha, during the 5th annual high-level retreat on the promotion of peace, security, and stability in Africa, some envoys asked AU to take bold measure to get out of donor dependency syndrome for sustainable peace and security.
During the meeting, the envoys raised concerns on the AU's reliance on the United Nations when it comes to peace and stability in Africa. They urged AU to come up with strategies to be free of aid.
This is not the first time President Mugabe has shown his support for “aid free Africa.” In 2015 and 2016 when he was AU chair, he campaigned for the organization to be self-financed after it was revealed that the 54 member states of the AU only contribute 40% of the budget.