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OPINION: African Union turns 18 but still hasn't grown up

13 0 0
08.07.2020

The African Union was launched in 2002 to replace the Organization for African Unity. Its predecessor was viewed critically for failing to address many of the continent's issues, including poverty and economic weakness, and for its policy of non-interference in the affairs of its member states. It gained a reputation for being a mere talking shop.

The AU came equipped with stronger administrative mechanisms, greater powers of intervention and an armed force equipped for humanitarian intervention.

But all that hasn't stopped the AU transitioning in the past 18 years into a more elaborate talking shop than its predecessor.

Wave of optimism

The founding of the African Union was a major milestone, lauded across the continent — the birth of the new baby kindling hopes it would be nurtured into an adult everyone could be proud of.

That baby has now grown up. But its parents, we Africans, are uncertain of its future.

This is because the AU seems to be more a case of a child, who despite turning 18, seems stuck in puberty — a child unable to get up in the morning and clean up its messy room, a child who is permanently squabbling with its siblings.

This is evidenced by the AU's failure to back a single candidate for the next head of the World Trade Organization, or even more embarrassingly, for the recently vacant UN Security Council seat.

Lack of funds........

© Deutsche Welle