20th Summit of the African Union, which was convened in Addis Ababa, has been a major media event this week. The African Union having adopted grand goals 50 years ago, formerly Organization of African Unity–OAU–is one of the paramount communities across the globe that set out to vindicate its continental representativeness for political and economic development. At this juncture, conducting an objective appreciation of AU’s undertakings over the past half a century is of the essence for the very pan-African organization itself and all the peoples it represents on the continent.
The grand and bona fide objectives embraced within the ‘AU’s Charter, among others, include: promoting the unity and solidarity of the African States; coordinating and intensifying their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa; and, peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediator conciliation or arbitration. A sincere version of whether AU’s mission has born fruit in the past virtually 50 years sheds light on the fact that this very pan-African organization has fallen short of effectively fulfilling the commitments and goals, which it was founded upon.
In spite of the goodwill of the entire African peoples and the founding leaders as well as abounding resources of the continent, what the AU has accomplished in advancing Africa’s development drive and ensuring peace and security is of little account. As a result, the African people as a whole do not pride itself on making a mention of the said appellation. Since day one of its establishment, the AU has all the time been subsiding and paralyzing in its organizational efficacy. Further than ineptitude and paralysis, as its dependency opened up a window of opportunity for external meddling, problems that have been cropping up in many parts of Africa have been internationalized and exasperated, thereby keeping solutions at bay and dissipating the golden time of peoples on the continent.
Despondency and bewailing for the adrift time and opportunities is not as yet the solution, but rather, the AU will have to relieve itself of such faulty state of affairs. The Constitutive Act of the AU was aimed at calibrating its method of work, but to no effect. Radical reform, therefore, remains imperative in order for the organization to guarantee the sought after efficacy and in order for Africa to attain the desired development and dignity. Thus, Africans are thirsty for creating an independent and dynamic organization with a decisive voice in the international forums, which does not yield to external biddings. Eritrea once again reaffirms the fact that the time for the peoples of Africa to impassively appraise the existing faux pas and orient themselves towards the move for radical reform need not be charted in the far-off calendar.