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Africa is multilateralism's secret champion

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By Ottilia Anna Maunganidze

PRETORIA ― African countries' commitment to multilateralism has often gone unnoticed. But, at a time when the world is increasingly turning its back on shared institutions, this could change, with Africa emerging as a vocal ― and empowered ― champion of multilateralism at the regional, continental, and global levels.

African countries have long recognized multilateralism's integral role in fostering development, prosperity, and peace. That is why, beyond supporting global efforts ― such as the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the G77 ― Africa established the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

From the 1960s to the 1990s, multilateral initiatives provided critical support for African countries, as they escaped colonialism and ended apartheid.

The OAU's successor, the African Union (AU), embodies the widely held conviction that global cooperation and regional integration are continental imperatives. A pillar of global multilateralism, the 55-member organization is particularly effective at the U.N. General Assembly, where sheer numbers are key to getting motions passed.

At the continental level, the AU comprises eight regional bodies covering Southern, Central, Eastern, Western, and Northern Africa. Regarded as the building blocks of the wider African Economic Community, these bodies facilitate coordination among neighbors in ways that support the AU's broader peace, security, development, and governance agendas.

Given the persistence of violent conflict in Africa, most of the AU's resources are channeled toward promoting continental peace and security.........

© The Korea Times