“Debt instruments are outdated and do not sufficiently take into account differences and climate and stranded assets risks” said President Ruto.

Kenyan President William Ruto has been designated the African Union Champion for Institutional Reform.

He takes over from President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.


The Assembly of the African Union heads of State and Government Saturday morning bestowed on President Ruto the responsibility of providing political leadership and vision and completing the Comprehensive Institutional Reform Initiative that started in 2016.

The reform involves reforming the structure, functioning, and focus of the African Union Commission, AU Organs, and Specialized Agencies so that they become more effective and efficient in managing the programs of the African Union.

President Ruto Picked To Lead AU Institutional Reforms
President of Kenya, William Ruto

The president, who attended the Presidential Dialogue on Global Financial Institutions Reform in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia called for the reform of the global financial system saying it is an urgent agenda for Africa and the entire Global South.

He stated that Africa is not seeking special treatment but simply calling for fairness, especially in the wake of climate change and other global challenges.

President Ruto Picked To Lead AU Institutional Reforms
Presidents William Ruto and Paul Kagame. Photo-Pic

“It is our hope that an expanded and innovative toolkit to deal with Africa’s sovereign debt burden will not only include instruments such as debt pause clauses and debt for nature swaps but also appropriately differentiated treatment of debt incurred to finance green economic growth,” he noted.

“These countries access funding from multilateral financial institutions at much higher cost than others in the Global North,” he regretted.

In addition to the structural reforms, the Kenyan leaders said they fully support changes to the voting structure.

“I hope we can also start with bottom-up experimentation and innovation. 2024 and 2025 are crucial years to push the agenda. A high level of coordination among many different types of actors, bilateral creditors, private lenders, multilateral institutions, and borrowing countries themselves is essential,” he said.