The African Union 20 years later – Conversation With Prof. Hajer Gueldich
The African Union 20 years later
Wednesday, October 05, 2022, 5pm GMT+1
Born from the ashes of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 2002, the African Union ( AU ) celebrates 20 years of existence in this year 2022. Since its creation, it has been entrusted with the mission of promoting the socio-economic integration of the African continent. Built on a set of common values shared by its Member States, the continental institution has gradually elaborated its institutional and normative architecture, and defined its frameworks for action. In 2013, Agenda 2063 was adopted by Heads of State and Government as the AU ‘s framework for action towards 2063 for an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the world stage”. In 2017, the continental institution embarked on an institutional reform project whose changes are underway. In 2021, the official start of free trade within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( ZLECAf ) came to concretize the project of economic integration of the continent.
But over time, the AU still faces many challenges. Despite the adoption of the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance, the democratic challenge remains topical given the resurgence of military coups, constitutional revisionism and the organization of questionable elections leading, in some countries, to bloody post-electoral crises. Likewise, the ambition to silence the guns remains a real Arlesian ambition given the hotbeds of tension and conflict on the continent. As for the human rights situation, it is undermined by the gradual rise of authoritarianism. The expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the limits of the health system of many African countries while the war in Ukraine has revealed the continent’s heavy dependence on certain manufactured goods. The promotion of food sovereignty, the protection of the environment, the need for emergence of a transformative leadership, and the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are real challenges for the AU.
The objective of this public dialogue is to analyze the record of the African Union 20 years after its creation. It will be a question, first, of highlighting its successes; then, to discuss the constraints and difficulties of its action throughout its evolution and, finally, to outline the prospects for a stronger continental institution capable of responding to the continent’s challenges in a rapidly changing world.
This public dialogue is organized by the Governance and Democracy Division of the Think Tank Nkafu Policy Institute. It is open to the general public without any restrictions.
– Prof. Hajer Gueldich, Full Professor of Universities, Director of the Master of Research in Law and Policy of the African Union at the Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences of the University of Carthage and Director of the Research Laboratory in International Law, International Jurisdictions and Comparative Constitutional Law. She is the author of the book entitled Droit, pratique et réforme institutionnelle de l’Union africaine, Simpact, December 2019, 440 pages. Member of the African Union institutional reform team, she is the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on International Law (CUADI).
Dr. Steve Tametong, Deputy Director of Governance and Democracy Division, Nkafu Policy Institute, Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation.
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Dr. Steve Tametong
Prof. Hajer Gueldich
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