n Journal of African Union Studies - Has the African Union outlived its relevance? A retrospective and introspective analysis

Volume 8 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306



The desire for a strong and united Africa led to the formation of the African Union (AU) on the 9th July, 2002. Though, the African Union emerged as a transition from the defunct Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union owing to the challenges of the 21st century which required new thinking and approach. Following its official launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, the AU was intended to promote the Pan-African consciousness, increase cooperation and integration among African states for the purpose of growth and economic development. Interestingly, whereas the AU has claimed to be championing the course of unity, cooperation, integration, peace and security as well as good governance in the continent, these noble ideals are yet to materialise. Sadly, the AU is yet to outdo its predecessor; the OUA giving the challenges confronting the continent of Africa today. Currently, Africa is grappling with a plethora of challenges among which include: conflicts and election violence, security challenges, human trafficking and human rights violations, bad governance and disunity among member states. Similarly, there is rising levels of Afrophobia and Xenophobic attacks of African migrants by angry South African youths which call for deeper concern and re-evaluation of the charter establishing AU and its mandate. This study therefore seeks to analyse the relevance of the AU amidst all the myriads of challenges confronting the continent of Africa, many of which are yet to receive adequate attention from the Union. The paper therefore, reveals that the AU have not fared better than the defunct OAU on account of its failure to addressed the core issues that led to its formation. Historical and contextual as well as content analysis was adopted in the study.

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