IIMUNAFRICAN UNIONEstablishment OfA Framework Which Aims For Combating Poverty And Terrorism In The ContinentIntroduction1. TheAfrican Union (AU), which came into effect in July 2002, is the successor tothe Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The proposal to launch the AU was madein September 1999, during an extraordinary session of the OAU Assembly convenedto expedite the process of economic and political integration on the continent.After signing the Constitutive Act of the African Union in July 2000, the neworganization was officially launched two years later in Durban, South Africa.Although the AU had been conceived by the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as a”United States of Africa,” its structures are loosely modelled onthose of the European Union (EU). Among the aims of the AU is promotion ofdemocracy, human rights and development across Africa. The AU has 55 members,covering the entire continent of Africa. 2. Amongits organs are: a. TheAssemblyb.
TheExecutive Councilc. TheCommission d. ThePermanent Representatives’ Committeee. Peaceand Security Council (PSC)f. Pan-African Parliament3. The objectives of the Union are setout in Article 3 of the Constitutive Act. There are fourteen objectives,designed to enhance political cooperation and economic integration, rangingfrom greater unity and solidarity between the countries and peoples of Africa,to promotion of democratic principles and good governance, to protection ofhuman rights, to coordination and harmonisation between the regional economiccommunities, which have been established or will be established in the AfricanContinent. The latter objective is also one of the central goals of the AfricanEconomic Community (AEC), the organisation responsible for the economicintegration of the whole Continent.
In general, the objectives cannot bedescribed as overambitious, though they are more expansive than those in theOAU Charter. They reflect rather the current status of developments in theAfrican continent, including notably promoting respect for human rights andrecognition of the democratic system. Their general theme is the upgrading ofAfrica’s position in the international plane, where the participating Statestake the view that they have a rightful role to play in the global economy andin global negotiations. This latter objective, if it were ever to materialise,would undoubtedly constitute a very significant development in inter-Africanrelations. The abandonment of traditional hostility and animosity among AfricanStates in favour of a unified position in important transnational political,economic, social, and health issues would constitute a clear sign for thesuccess of the Union. The express reference to the promotion and protection ofhuman rights is a significant development, as is the commitment to democraticvalues, and constitute welcome improvements on the OAU Charter, which is silenton these matters.
It acknowledges that sustainable economic developmentflourishes in such a culture.History – OAU and the AU1. Thepan-Africanist ideals that led to the creation of the OAU in 1963 proceededfrom the idea of the African states as strong and united against colonialsubjugation and racism, and working together to improve the lives of Africanpeople. 2. Withthe end of the Cold War, the world completely changed. Africa and the OAU,however, did not. Africa became increasingly marginalized and struggled todefine its place and role in the new global system.
With dwindling aid fromable States, it was incumbent on Africa to consider a new political andeconomic order securing “African solutions for African problems.” Bythe time of its thirtieth anniversary, most analysts of the OAU concluded thatthe organization could not meet future demands without serious reform andreorganization – the OAU Charter needed revision the most, specifically withregard to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference, primarily becauseleaders found themselves restricted by the prohibition under the OAU Charter onintervention.3. Underlyingthe leaders’ refusal to involve themselves in the internal conflicts of otherAfrican states were two concerns. First, Allegations of transnationalsupporting of coups d’état within their territory.
Second, a concern forterritorial sovereignty in light of internal conflicts. As one criticconcluded, the only issue uniting the OAU was the major factor in causing itsbirth-apartheid in South Africa. Otherwise, the OAU was weak and disunited bythe dispute over Western Sahara (involving Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, andFrance), the Shaba rebellions (the attempted invasions of Zaire), the invasionof Benin, and the Ogaden war against Somalia.4. By1988, on the one hand, a primary function of the organization-eradicatingcolonialism and establishing the independence of African nations-had beenvirtually completed. Hence the OAU was officially disbanded in 2000 and immediatelyreplaced by the AU, which entered into force on 27 February 2001. The formationof the AU finally allowed for the regional conflicts of member states to beoverseen and dealt with by a partisan body that could resourcefully address itsconcerns. To ensure a smooth shift from the OAU into the AU, the ConstitutiveAct was created to outline a transitional period of one year between the twobodies.
Current Scenario1. Challengesa. Thecrucial problems Africa faces today concern poverty and lack of development,aid dependence, debt, continuing conflicts, the AIDS pandemic, and bullying bythe major powers through such instruments as the WTO, the World Bank and theIMF. More than forty years ago, Kwame Nkrumah called insistently for unity. Hisarguments were simple enough: only a united Africa would be able to stand up tothe neo-colonialist pressures of the former metropolitan countries, and theCold War pressures of the US and the USSR. Africa rejected real unity at thattime and opted instead for a weak compromise in the OAU. The biggest challenge,of course, is the challenge of implementation. Africa has so far displayed alow level of implementation of treaty obligations.
This is mainly due to anunwillingness to incorporate international treaties into domestic law and givepowers to supranational bodies. A genuine commitment to unity and a strongpolitical will are required. b. Amongthe most potent of Africa’s development constraints has been the fragility andinsignificance (in terms of population and income) of African economies,leading to insignificant nature of the markets, making it difficult to attractforeign investment and achieve economies of scale production, which are crucialfor the attainment of productivity, growth and competitiveness in a globalisingworld.2. KeyPoints (non-exhaustive):a. Situationin Darfur, Rise of Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, al Shabaab, ISIS among others,Inequitable distribution of wealth despite growing economies, regionalconflicts as an impediment and their resolution.3.
NEPAD& APRMa. Anothersignificant new initiative taken by African leaders was the adoption of the NewPartnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at the Lusaka Summit of the OAU inJuly 2001. It addresses key social, economic and political principles for thecontinent.
NEPAD proposes a system of voluntary peer review, and adherence tocodes and standards of conduct. b. ThePeer Review Mechanism has been another important aspect of the AU’s work.Africa has always been criticised for poor governance, where African leadersmismanage their economies, become dictators and put their personal interestsabove the nation’s. To deal with this, a Peer Review Mechanism has been set up,meant to encourage member-states to ensure that their policies and practicesconform to agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codesand standards enshrined in the NEPAD document.
4. AGENDA2063a. Aframework to guide efforts over the next (nearly) 50 years until 2063, buildson the constitutive document of the AU and African Aspirations.
Suggested Moderated Caucus Topics1. Thepolitical will of African leaders (many of whom have good reason not toencourage the concept of close inspection of performance on good governance) topush for practical implementations and on wealthy nations who have repeatedlyfailed to live up to commitments to the African continent.2.
Failurein controlling movement of arms and ammunition despite the G8 Africa ActionPlan.3. The”Resource War”: Many of Africa’s wars are driven in part by the process ofglobalization: they are funded by the purchase of raw materials (diamonds,gold, coltan, timber, oil).
4. Financing:While the CA sets out a clearly ambitious project for Africa, it lacks anyprovision for financing the African Union. the failure to spell out how theAfrican Union will obtain funding is surprising considering that lack of fundshas been a principal reason for the OAU’s ineffectiveness.5. Vastnumber of Union organs: The parallel operation of so many organs with nospecific mandate and whose operation will necessitate large sums of money in anera where established international organisations struggle to ensure theirbasic financing pose a dilemma as to their effectiveness and success in implementingthe required framework.
6. Reasonsfor Limitations/Failures in specific adopted treaties and conventions or planssuch as the Strategic Plan of 2014-2017 and the way forward.7. Failurein checking the growth of Boko Haram in specific directions such as Cameroon,Chad and Niger.8.
Addressingpoverty to check recruitment to interalia, ISIS from nations such as Tunisia and South Africa.9. Addressingcorruption in the continent to prevent transfer of arms from the nationalmilitary to authority to terrorist groups, as happened with Somalia and the AlShabaab.Delegatesmust note that restricting the entire scope of discussion to the above contentwill not fetch points.
A detailed research into the nuances, veracity andplausibility of the above points, and aspects not included in the document isexpected. This is merely a background guide to give you a head-start. Links/Material· Magliveras, K., & Naldi, G.(2002).
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