African Union – toothless organization or a relevant roadmap?

The African Union on its Golden Jubilee rededicated itself to the realization of the Pan African vision of Unity. Agenda 2063 is a roadmap that is to ultimately guide the great Africa to Pan African vision of ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. This week the Afrolutionist tackles the unification of the African continent ahead of the vision Africa 2063 agenda. Being an International Relations student in Europe, much of my knowledge is drilled down the well of European politics and as such I will give comparison to the European continent while I analyze ours with full understanding and acknowledgement that both continents are on different levels of development.

The road map emphasizes the ideology of Pan Africanism that is based fundamentally on the solidarity of African countries. Back then the ideology was used as a mechanism to react against the oppression and exploitation of the black man and the racial doctrines that marked the era of colonisation. The new Pan-Africanism suggests the emancipation of Africans, this time not from the chains of slavery driven oppression but rather pushing towards an economically functional Africa that is free of foreign interference and involvement in the day to day running of the continent.

Is the African Union moving towards the right direction in spear heading the realization for the agenda? As African countries do we adhere to the goals of the agenda? Many will say that the African Union might have chewed more than it can swallow by its emphasis on becoming a continental organization. With such a mammoth territory and such demography it is charged with dealing with problems varying from ethnic conflicts to African-European illegal immigration to xenophobic attacks. Well at least according to their objectives, that is what they are mandated to do however with minimal recourses and a crippling strategic funding plan one might beg to differ. Furthermore the Africa Union’s raison d’etre becomes even more and harder to fathom as African countries move in different directions in terms of goals and aspirations

To further articulate myself, the 2063 agenda is exactly what Africa needs, the end goal is by far what Africa has been calling for, finally our true potential will be reached however the implementation and strategic road towards the realization for this dream does not hold water especially spear headed by the toothless African Union.

The neo realist theory will argue that nation-states are rational actors and behave in self-interest manners. Justifiable considering that currently the African Union is unable to provide for its members lucrative economical benefits that would see them interact economically within the territory of our continent. Unlike the European Union that was established as a regional organization with only 6 members then later expanded on the bases of their success, the sheer membership size make it impossible for the AU to prosper. Most importantly the organization seems to be missing somewhat from its current arrangement mechanisms for formulating concrete policies for actualized aims or following through on rhetoric.

It seems I have differed from discussing the feasibility of the agenda 2063 and focused more on the African Union as a whole but the bone of contention really is how does an organization failing to organize itself expected to achieve this goal? The union should be credited for colonial emancipation but that is as far as it should go. I suggest that the African Union pass down the agenda to regional organizations such as SADC. Regional organizations are built mostly on common interest that ultimately leads to common foreign and security policies. It was wrong and imprudent to think a country in the south-east of Africa could share common vision, goals and aspirations as that in the furthest north. Churchill once said two neighbor families are better at cooperation as it’s easier for them to have faith in each others purpose, hope in each others future and charity towards each others short comings.