Table of Contents



The fourth chapter of this dissertation is intended towards acquainting the readers about the extended findings associated with the role and performance of the African Union which is in line with the methodological approach adopted and discussed in the previous chapter. The chapter discusses the extended literature review regarding the role and performance of the African Union which has been contributed towards the development and improvement of the African countries. In this essence, the key findings from the secondary data have been addressed focusing on the key aspects of the research objectives which are formulated in the preliminary plan of this dissertation. In addition, a comprehensive review has been laid out for realising the key issues which are associated with the performance and formation of the African Union. The chapter facilitates the readers with the direction to a conclusive section on the summative aspects for the research with the recommended measures that has been provided to the AU governing authorities.

Extended Literature Review

Historical Analysis on the Performance of the AU

According to Ijsselmuiden et al., (2012), the 32 African states had achieved the independence in Ethiopia for developing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). However, since the inception of the AU, it has faced certain problems in terms of functionality and the
performance due to opposition leaders or the lack of financial support by the government. In 2003, the arrears in the membership fees for the 11 countries were estimated to be the US $44 million that depends on the external financing for the freedom of their actions. According to Barrientos, Gereffi, and Rossi (2011), it was made evident that in the year 1979, the Committee for the Review of Charter was developed for the need existed to transform the AU charter for the purpose of streamlining the organisation for gearing more accurately in terms of the challenges associated with the globalisation.

In the light of Vickers (2012), the establishment of the OAU was regarded as the major achievement for the Pan-Africanism thoughts and their movements. In this regard, the fundamental aspect for the Pan-Africanism and the objectives associated with the African
Liberation has laid out the organisational and institutional imperative framework for the purpose of promoting unity among the African People. It was after 53 countries when the OAU transformed into AU. In the early phase of 1979, the changes were evident for restructuring the
organisation and prepare them to meet the challenges arising from the globalisation (Murithi, 2012). The major organs of the AU are Council of Ministers, General Secretariat, Head of the State of the Government, Cultural and Health Commission and the Defence Commission.

According to the study conducted by Brown and Harman (2013), it was highlighted that the Charter Review Committee held several meetings for which few substantial modifications were carried out. However, in the duration of the modifications, the declarations were focused on
at the summits such as the Cairo Declaration which has established the mechanism for the conflict resolution. In the year 1999, the 4th Extraordinary Summit took place in the Sirte, Libya which was governed by the Head of States. The Extraordinary Summit taken place actually made efforts for making the amendments in the OAU charter for the purpose of increasing the expectations and efficiency associated with the African Union (Vickers, 2013). The Summit further proposed that the development of the AU was in relation to the ultimate objectives that are associated with the OAU Charter and the provision of the treaty. However, the efforts were carried out in the essence of African Economic Commission creation.

The historical performance of the African countries has represented that the Africa’s experience for the integration has inclined towards a strand of opinion which has been made in the favour of immediate integration of AU objectives into the countries. According to Oppong
(2011), it was highlighted that during the formation of the African Union, the Africa has faced various political, economic and social challenges on the regional, national and global fronts. In the light of Marais (2013), the AU Commission has served the function for being the secretariat for the African Union and the organs are based on four functions. This includes the coordination and executive body for the AU and the REC, for the global representation associated with the AU, diffusion of the currently established norms and follow-up for the execution programs. Currently, the AU Commission is functioning with the 52% of the aggregate human resource capital and utilised 40% of the budget because of lack of effective managerial and leadership strategy. For managing the countries, AU requires a strong and efficient AU commission as the main engine for Union.

AU Role and Performance towards Social and Economic Assimilation of Continent

In the light of Oppong (2011), the Africa’s political integration promises to fulfil the aspirations of the people in different walks of life, common values which are embedded in the traditions, constitutionalism, and rule of law that forms the foundation of the democratic and effective African Union. A large number of critical structures were put into practice which deals with the variety of critical issues that ensures the continent towards forwarding movement in the context of governance, protection of human rights, accountability, and peace. However, AU has played a significant role in the creating a democratic space across Africa, for the promotion of socio-economic development and reflect a common African identity to rest of the world.

In the light of Todaro and Smith (2012), the main problems faced by the African countries deal with the education, human rights, AIDS, gender disputes, low technology, agriculture and transportation issues which exist in different African countries. In this context, AU came forward for promoting the socio-economic development which persuades the way towards the integration of the objectives of the African Union for the betterment of the community. However, for achieving the social and economic regeneration for the continent, the
pre-eminent issues of the poverty mitigation and the people-centred development which are essential for the stability and peace for the growing economies (Nhamo, 2017). Moreover, the priority of the African Union is focused towards the development of the prosperous and balanced economy within Africa, which is based on the principles of mutual benefit and equities, through the empowerment and active involvement for the people of different continents.

There are different socio-economic issues which are under the preview and immediate attention of the African Union discussed as follows.

Poverty and Education as a Source of Socio-Economic Development

In the light of DeGhetto, Gray, and Kiggundu (2016), Africa has retained its share in the world’s richest 20% of the countries which further claims of 82% of the share in the global exports and the 20% of the poorest countries get only 1% share in the global exports made by the
African countries. Similarly, the richest 20% of the African countries have retained the attraction of two-thirds of the FDI in the world. On the other hand, the poorest 20% of the African states are attracted by only 1% of the foreign direct investment. According to the report of World Bank, it was identified that a sixth of the world’s population, primarily of the developed countries, receive 80% of the world income. On the other hand, the poorest 57% of the countries in the total world population has received only 6% of the world income.

In the context of the socio-economic development, it was found that in a number of African countries, women are considered as the important inputs in the development process and the Bank efforts in mainstreaming the gender for the poverty reduction projects which are in progress (Mulugeta Abebe, 2010). However, the growing emphasis is on the private sector development within the regional member countries as the key for reinforcing the synergy between gender and poverty. In addition, there is a need for enabling the women for transforming their activities into the informal sector which is more structured and the formal business that includes the access towards the productive assets and the social services. From the globalisation, the changing patterns of the modern technologies and trade call for the skills enhancement which most of the women in the continent does not have because they lack at the basic training and education levels.

In the light of Boutellis and Williams (2013), the rate of illiteracy for the people over 15 is 41% in the African countries and the higher education for women in African Countries tends to be rather a frightening experience because they usually battle in marriages or the family
reproductive life. However, the opening of the Universities for the higher education is the answer to the education needs of African women to which they are unable to access due to financial and marital reasons (Gebeyehu, 2012). The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) comprehends the investment in the educational sector which can help the African countries for the poverty reduction, knowledge-based economies, and human resource development. The AU has
prioritised the educational assistance provisions to the people particularly to women so that they are not left behind the system. Therefore, African Union is taking charge of the social and economic issues in terms of education and poverty in the African Countries.

Gender, Human Rights and Children Rights as a Source of Socio-Economic Development

The gender in relation to the socio-economic development has three different dimensions which have direct implications for the poverty reduction and the equitable economic growth, governance and children and human rights along with the economic developments. It is argued by Vines (2013), the gender equity and the reduction of poverty mostly go hand-in-hand because the men and women are discriminated on the basis of their genders and in other spheres of social and economic life. For instance, there is a strong bias against women for rendering the social services, especially in employment and education in the formal sector. However, such biases always lead towards the inefficiency of the economy (Chirisa, Mumba, and Dirwai, 2014). In addition to the above statement, the African societies can reap the social benefits, for instance, the reduced malnutrition of the children, fertility, and mortality and the issues associated with the infancy.

The African Union paid a special attention to the gender concerns by including a genderbalanced representation within the union to counter the negative impacts arising from the gender issues. The African Union commitment towards their principles of the gender equity is considered as the fundamental aspects because of the process of establishing the Union. The African Union has also conducted a partnership with NEPAD for defending the human, children, and women rights. Moreover, the adoption of the protection of rights in the AU charter is a positive step towards combating the violence and discrimination against women, children and violating the human rights (Tchamyou, 2016). In this context, the AU adopted the protocol for the human rights in Africa as the significant step towards the efforts for ensuring and promoting the respect of rights. The execution and implementation of the protocol will further be supervised by the African Commission in the People and Human rights. The body established will monitor the compliance of the state parties towards the African Charter. Moreover, the Organs of the
African Union for the economic, social, and cultural council (ECOSOC) safeguard the gender parity in their membership.

Agriculture as a Source of Socio-Economic Development

In the light of Ijsselmuiden et al., (2012), the African Union has played a significant role in the agricultural sector for the continent. One of the organs of the African Union is responsible for the agriculture development because it is considered as the socio-economic development of the African countries. In addition, the African Union has also ensured that the appropriate programmes for the food and security in Africa are developed for meeting the ultimate objectives
of the Union. However, the member states of the African Union has adopted and implemented policies alongside the legislation within the field of agriculture for ensuring equal access towards the ownership and control of the land by women (Tchamyou, 2016). The credibility of the African Union is dependent on the ability for delivering peace, better living standards, and economic progress to the population which also takes into account, the agriculture development of the African countries.

White Supremacy in the African Countries

In the light of Mulugeta Abebe (2010), the nationalist determination focused towards separating the races and guaranteeing the white supremacy in the African countries, even at the cost of democratic principles, mainly stems from the long Afrikaner tradition for the masterservant relations. It was also from the bitter struggle of the British administration to maintain the traditions. As the authority of the country has pointed out the fact that the racial discrimination in
the African countries is empathetically not confined to the Afrikaner population alone, yet it has certain special roots within the history and experience of the African population (DeGhetto, Gray, and Kiggundu, 2016). Thus, the founding of the self-governing South African Union on the constitutional basis which has mainly prescribed the white dominance and has also legalised the racial inequality has occurred simultaneously along with the completion of the sectional reunion process in the United States. Moreover, the difference was focused towards the segregationism and the disfranchisement within the African countries which was enshrined in the organic laws. Therefore, there was an evident white supremacy and racial differences existed in the African countries to which the African Union has taken relevant for achieving the objectives.

African Union Funds and Budgeting

In the light of Daniels (2016), the budget in the African Union is made up of two components which include program and operational budgets. For the last five years, the budget has increased from the US $ 264 million in the year 2011 to the US $ 447 million in the year
2015 which excludes the security and peace budget. Over this period, the operational budget grew at 22% from the US$ 117 million in the year 2011 towards the US $ 143 million in the year 2015. However, the programme budget increased by 107% from the US $146 million in the year 2011 to the US $303 million in the year 2015.

The operational budget is mainly focused towards financing the cost of running the African Union along with its organs and other specialised agencies such as NEPAD and APRM. In addition to the above statement, the expenditures also cover the administrative, service delivery and utility cost for the maintenance and investment of all AU organs (Marais, 2013). Moreover, the operational cost also amounts to around 110 million dollars on an average annually for the last five years and it is financed exclusively by their member states.

The Program Budget excludes the peace support operations which is aimed toward the following areas,

  • The programmes for the cross-continental importance which includes the AU role for peace and security, other flagship projects and CFTA.
  • The implementation of the decisions and directives from summits and during those summits several decisions are formed which required a prudent implementation that often required financial resources.
  • The maintenance of the continental response readiness for the emergencies in social or political unforeseen emergencies.
  • Coordination of the common positions in the international arena for the matters which are sensitive to the social stability and development in the continent.

The budget for the African Union in 2016 is estimated to be at 447 million USD which includes 150 million for operations and 297 million for the programmes. It is also projected that for the next five years, the operational budget will increase from 150 million to around 182 million USD in the year 2020 (Daniels, 2016). Moreover, the programme budget which excludes the peace and security is expected to grow around 297 million USD over the same period. The table below explains the projected budget for the African Union for five years.

economics data analysis table

There are certain aspirations for the Africa to which the African Union is focused at for the continuous development and the growth of the African Countries. The main aspiration of the African Union is the formation of a prosperous Africa which is based on the inclusive growth and the sustainable development of the countries. The second aspiration is merely focused towards the integrated continent which can be united political and democratically and can be based on the ideal Pan-Africanism along with the vision for Africa’s Renaissance (Ijsselmuiden et al., 2012). The third aspiration of the African Union is aimed towards good governance, respect for the human rights and justice for the rule of law which can be instilled in the people of
African countries. The fourth aspiration of the African Union is the security and protection of the Africa and making it a peaceful region. The fifth aspiration is aimed towards making the African countries with a common heritage, strong cultural identity and the shared values for making it a strong contender as the global player.


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