n Journal of Public Administration - Successes and failures of the organisation of African unity : lessons for the future of the African Union

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



After more than a decade of democracy in South Africa, the eyes of the international world remain on South Africa as one of the countries on the continent that can assist in ensuring and maintaining peace, stability and greater prosperity. However, it is impossible to consider South Africa's potential role in this regard without considering the larger context of organised regionalism within which it has to operate. This article therefore examines the role of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), its successes and failures, and its evolution into the recently founded African Union. It pays attention to theories underlying the founding of International Governmental Organisations, before briefly exploring the history of the OAU. An evaluation is provided of the role of the OAU, before pointing to some lessons learned that could be of significance to the (African Union) AU in the future.

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