African Union

The AU at 20: Building Partnerships for Africa’s Strategic Autonomy

The lack of international cooperation and coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of African efforts to enhance resilience and agency in international relations. While the African Union (AU) continues to face challenges in achieving greater continental integration, it has embarked on several important measures, including efforts to reform the AU to make it fitter for purpose and more efficient. Some of these efforts include reforms aimed at reducing the AU's dependence on external donors and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), a flagship project of the AU's Agenda 2063.

The African Union Agenda 2063 and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM): A Case for Complementarity

The GCM has institutional structures at global, regional and national levels that seek to assist member states in the implementation of its objectives. In this regard, integrating the GCM and AU Agenda 2063 will serve a two-fold purpose. The AU member states will have robust and sound migration governance, and at the same time, AU member states will have the resilience to address migration challenges as they implement Agenda 2063. Finding synergies in the implementation of these two policy documents is crucial if Africa wants to harness the potential of migration in boosting its development and at the same time, address migration challenges.

Now That We Have Moved in Words, Can We Move in Action? the AU, Member States and African Union Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons in Africa

When, in 1963, Kwame Nkrumah emphasised that Africans need to unite, he was vigorously reinforcing the pertinence of motioning the continent on the ideation of pan-Africanism, unity, and continental solidarity. There were evident implications of his rhetoric. The first is that the arbitrary borders of the continent could not continue to subsist. In his invocations, he insisted on the fact that it was pertinent to render 'existing boundaries obsolete and superfluous.' At the time this viewpoint was articulated, it met with wide agreement. Although certain leaders were persuaded that it was important to do away with the borders, others who had just gained independence from colonial powers emerged as nationalists and were determined to consolidate their victories at a national level, given that their people had fought hard to win independence from imperialism and colonial structures.

The Role of the African Union in Addressing Election-Related Violence

The African Union (AU) commemorates its second decade this year. This milestone presents a moment to reflect on the founding aspirations of the body, assess the current progress in achieving these, and provide suggestions of what the continent should do to achieve these aspirations. This piece assesses the AU's role in peace and security on the continent as far as election-related violence (ERV) is concerned and the linkages between various organs of the AU to achieve this, particularly the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). Timothy Sisk defines ERV as 'acts of verbal assault, intimidation, coercion and physical harm used to sabotage an electoral process (at any given point) or eliminate electoral competition.' The United Nations recognises ERV as a 'form of political violence which is often designed to influence an electoral outcome and, therefore, political power distribution.'

The African Union and Women’s Rights since its Inception

The Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) was adopted on 11 July 2000 and came into force on 26 May 2001. The document has been described as 'the turning of a page in the history of the African continent' as it represented the beginning of a new era for the 'political, judicial, and economic organisation for Africa.' The Constitutive Act recognises gender equality as one of its principles.

African Agency, Agenda-setting in Public Health: The Africa Centre for Disease Control in Perspective

The African Union (AU) has reached its twentieth year, and this milestone offers an opportunity to reflect upon African agency and agenda-setting regarding the development of continental norms and practices within the AU's public health sphere of competence. This is particularly relevant in view of the current global pandemic. This paper argues that the establishment of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) under the Statute of the Africa CDC, its mechanisms and processes, especially in the AU's continental response to COVID-19, advances African agency and agenda-setting in public health. Importantly, some of the actions of the AU, as part of its continental response to COVID-19, require attention not only because they form the central argument of this paper but also because of the scant attention paid to the AU's continental response to the pandemic by scholars and others, in this regard.

The AU and ECOSOCC: Reflections on Reform and Increased Civil Society Participation

It is critical for the AU to become more open and aware of the role of CSOs in Africa and to engage with them meaningfully as partners in the continent's development, as opposed to its antagonistic relations with the CSOs on the continent. Meaningful and inclusionary engagement with CSOs is also essential and must allow for the input of expert CSOs as well as internationally funded CSOs. As mentioned in the preceding sections, the expertise and the critical voices of these CSOs can play an essential role in increasing the capacity of AU organs and ultimately amplifying the citizens' voices from a wider base.

Intervention in Response to Atrocities: The Contribution of the African Union to International Law

There are few provisions of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act that has received as much attention in academic literature as Article 4(h). While Article 4(h) has yet to be acted upon by the AU, it has been the subject of praise, criticism and speculation as to its meaning.

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs in Financing the African Union

As the AU enters its twenties, understanding and addressing its funding challenges must be embedded in the broader political economy of Africa and the world. Global fiscal justice will go a long way in enabling African agency through more self-funding and leadership in the AU's agenda-setting and programme implementation. The AU can and should balance the shouldering of a steadily increasing burden of funding itself with continued pragmatic partnerships. In so doing, the AU will be able to roll out its reforms without losing access to vital resources in the short-term.

African Union at 20: The Emergence of African Union Law and its Role in the Integration Effort

This short piece explores the role of norm generation at the continental level in Africa and its impact on the integration effort. It examines notable developments in Africa that impact the normative and legal developments, including colonisation, Pan-Africanism, the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the African Union (AU). Particular attention is paid to the AU Constitutive Act and its significance.