n Journal of Law, Society and Development - The broken legs of the African Union Commission Chair : a critique of the present and prospects for the future

Volume 1 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2313-8289



Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma successfully lobbied for and secured the prime seat as the new AU Commission Chairperson. This paper argues that the office of the Chairperson of the AU Commission does not have the legal and political power to spearhead the proper functions of the Commission Secretariat, hence the 'broken legs' in the title. The new Chairperson is going into an organisation which is intergovernmental in nature, with the critical decision-making power still in the hands of individual member states. The question being asked in this paper is how the Chairperson can exercise her mandate under the current setup. There is a need to look critically at the AU's culture and how it functions, and at its grand political dreams that in most cases have not come true. The paper concludes by advocating major institutional reforms so that the office of the AU Commission Chairperson becomes credible and legitimate to empower her to sit down and work.

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