African Union: Review Essay

Table of Contents
  1. Abstract
  2. Organization History
  3. Main Objectives
  4. Primary Challenges Over the Years
  5. Current Issues and Perceived Efficacy
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

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Abstract

After reaching a consensus on the way forward for the Organization of the African Unity, the leaders of the member nations determined that the continent wanted a contemporary outlook and new strategies to perform new aims. The African Union was the proposed answer, and the brand new group has proved itself to be the best first resolution of African leaders towards a extra affluent way forward for the continent. However, there are nonetheless controversies concerning the efficacy of the group, as a result of it partially failed to offer the inhabitants with peace and security, and the state of affairs round well being issues doesn’t appear to have improved. Also, there are challenges relating to the unity inside the group – most leaders are extra involved with their private objectives. There are additionally points with corruption, integration of democratic processes, and violent political regimes. Ensuring the group’s monetary independence might develop into an essential first step towards more practical operations.

Despite being wealthy with pure assets and having robust financial potential, Africa is among the many poorest areas of the earth, the place mortality and illiteracy charges are excessive. To remedy these and different persisting problems with the African nations, the states of the continent shaped the African Union. This paper opinions the aims of the union, its historical past, and a number of the most vital points the group has confronted.

Organization History

African Union is a regional worldwide intergovernmental group uniting 55 states of Africa. The goal causes for the creation of the African Union, changing the OAU – essentially the most vital political affiliation of nations on the African continent – have been dramatic adjustments within the alignment of political forces on this planet throughout its existence (1963–2001) (African Union, 2020). OAU had completed a few of its most prioritized aims. The issues of the trendy financial growth of African states required the seek for new approaches and mechanisms.

The resolution to create the African Union was taken on the OAU Extraordinary Summit in September 1999 in Sirte, Libya (African Union, 2020). It mirrored the will of African leaders for the next degree of unity than it was on the time of OAU. The heads of states of the continent accredited the Constitutive Act of the African Union on the OAU summit in July 2000 in Lome (Togo) (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). During the summit, the African Union was introduced formally, and the announcement was obtained positively by the member states. At the thirty seventh session of the OAU Assembly within the capital of Zambia, Lusaka, a bundle of paperwork was accredited that outlined the construction and authorized framework of the brand new group.

Main Objectives

The indisputable fact that the African Union will proceed to work on OAU’s aims, emphasised within the Constitutive Act, is expressed by the readiness of the governments of member nations to advertise unity, solidarity, cohesion, and cooperation between peoples and governments of African nations. The principal aims of the union embrace the dialogue with the world group from a unified perspective and making selections that can be capable of reply to the challenges of financial globalization (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). The union can be to guard the sovereignty, territorial integrity of member states, selling peace, safety, and stability on the continent, and efficient decision of regional conflicts.

The principal distinction between the brand new union and the OAU is that financial integration is proclaimed the principle precedence of the brand new group. The OAU, nonetheless, thought-about political integration as the principle job for taking collective measures to guard nationwide independence and territorial integrity of younger African states (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). In world historical past, there are a lot of examples of integration primarily based on the convergence of financial pursuits, and this fashion appears best for fixing the various issues of present Africa (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). The resolution taken by the union to help the event of integration processes, counting on the already present political and administrative associations of the south and north of the continent, West and East Africa, implies that the union will expertise a protracted and arduous street to attaining success.

One of the basic ideas of the African Union’s exercise is the respect for the state borders of the group’s member states that existed on the time they gained independence. This is of explicit relevance for the nations of the African continent, because the hazard of attainable native elites and transnational firms inciting territorial disputes, interethnic conflicts, separatist sentiments, and organizing coups to regulate mineral deposits (particularly in border areas) stays fairly excessive (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). The navy upsets within the Gambia, Zaire, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and different nations which have influenced neighboring states are a vivid affirmation of the aforementioned.

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The AU is meant to switch not solely the OAU but in addition the African Economic Community (AEC), which was alleged to confront the detrimental facets of globalization by selling the socio-economic growth of Africa (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). The definition of ideas, objectives, and growth methods of AEC endured from 1976 to 1989 (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). The strategy of attaining financial integration inside the AEC was designed for 34 years and consisted of six levels. The group itself was created in 1991, however its actions didn’t deliver vital sensible outcomes (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). The revival of the concept of African unity, which was realized within the type of the creation of the African Union, went virtually parallel with the event of the idea of the “African Renaissance,” proclaimed by South African President Thabo Mbeki (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). The aims of the revival, along with creating democratic political methods, have been the profitable combat in opposition to the AIDS pandemic, the restoration of African cultures, the promotion of inventive creativity, and entry to superior science and know-how.

Primary Challenges Over the Years

A extreme downside for the management of the union is the shortage of economic assets. In October 2003, arrears within the cost of membership charges of 11 member nations of the group amounted to $44 million, they usually have been disadvantaged of the best to talk at conferences of the union (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). Such a state of affairs makes the African Union depending on exterior financing, restricts freedom of motion, and straight impacts its skill to hold out peacekeeping missions (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). For occasion, after the refusal of African leaders to sentence the insurance policies of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the European Union froze the allocation of 250 million euros supposed for the union’s peacekeeping actions.

The date of the inauguration of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, scheduled for January 31, 2004, was postponed to March 18, 2004 (African Union, 2020). The protocol defining its powers, features, and composition, though unanimously adopted by the union members beforehand, was not enacted till March as a result of it had not been ratified by half of the member nations. The protocol on the institution of the Peace and Security Council, a physique with broad powers and which is supposed to assist obtain stability in Africa, was additionally ratified later than deliberate (Karbo & Murithi, 2017). The course of of making an African court docket was additionally sluggish. Such delays testify to the reluctance of leaders of some African states, regardless of their formal help for the union’s course of actions, to restrain their private pursuits.

Recent tensions between Morocco and SADR that began in 2017 present that some member nations prioritize their very own pursuits a lot stronger than the group’s general aims. The operation of the union was considerably disrupted due to the tensions (International Crisis Group, 2020). This state of affairs questions the union’s energy to oversee the actions of its member states correctly. It has been greater than a decade because the union was based, however there have been no actual developments in peace and safety. For occasion, the Central African Republic disaster, which was attributable to the actions of arm teams solely a number of years in the past, jeopardizes the authority of the African Union as an entity that promotes peace and stability.

Current Issues and Perceived Efficacy

There are many points the African Union is presently going through, however essentially the most vital ones are associated to well being, ecological sustainability, navy confrontations and peacekeeping, and financial stability. The inhabitants of the various areas of the continent is uneducated, and regardless of the union’s efforts, the state of affairs doesn’t appear to enhance (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). Malaria and HIV/AIDS additionally pose a major risk to African communities, however there isn’t a systematized framework for battling these points (Magliveras & Naldi, 2018). In addition to those challenges, fixed navy confrontations attributable to terrorist and different non-governmental and radical teams disturb the peace and pose a extreme hindrance to sustainable financial and cultural growth.

Despite the persistence of many challenges, the African Union has been efficient in rising cooperation between its member nations. This collaboration has ensured that the continent has a strong basis for future financial, ecological, and socio-cultural tasks. However, there are those that imagine that the group’s extremely bureaucratic construction limits the union’s potential. Some individuals declare that the group is nothing greater than a speaking store, the place there are extra conversations than actions (The Economist, 2017).

In 2020, the African Union has the identical points that it had when the group was based. The union closely is dependent upon exterior financing, and up to date tensions in negotiations with the UN over co-financing function proof (International Crisis Group, 2020). Also, the group doesn’t have sufficient energy over its member states – presidents of some nations want violent methods for sustaining energy of their nations, and the union doesn’t have any means to affect that (International Crisis Group, 2020). More than twenty nations will maintain presidential or different elections in 2020, and the union ought to take into consideration methods of containing violence throughout and after elections. Otherwise, conflicts between the opposition and present heads could lead to bloodshed.

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Conclusion

The African Union is the way forward for the African continent and has the potential to develop into as influential because the European Union. However, the group ought to think about methods of changing into impartial from exterior financing and means for preserving peace. Currently, the union suffers from the disturbance attributable to armed conflicts, leaders that search private advantages moderately than continental pursuits, and well being and ecological points in native communities.

References

African Union. (2020). About the African Union. Web.

International Crisis Group. Eight priorities for the African Union in 2020. Web.

Karbo, T., & Murithi, T. (Eds.). (2017). The African Union: Autocracy, diplomacy and peacebuilding in Africa. New York, NY: I.B. Tauris.

Magliveras, Okay. D., & Naldi, G. J. (2018). The African Union. Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International BV.

The Economist. (2017). Talking store: The African Union. Web.

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