Posted by / Tuesday 18 April 2017 / No comments

Why the African Union was formed to replace the Organization of African Unity

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After twenty-one years of existence of the Organization of African Union, the organization was disbanded and another one formed to replace it. At the time the change was made, the Chairman of the African Union Organization was Mr. Thabo Mbeki, the then president of the Republic of South Africa. The new organization is called the African union or AU. There were several reasons why this step was taken.

Interest of African Leaders
The O.A.U. had protected the interests of African leaders without addressing the real problems of the continent. Only the leaders mattered, the followers did not matter.

The Organization of African Unity was not able to deal with the problem of extreme cases of human rights abuse among member states because of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Member-States. This had prevented the organization from taking required steps in dealing with such cases.

African Marginalization
The Organization of African Unity had not been able to do anything about the economic marginalization of the African continent. Africa seemed to have left behind by the rest of the world and the O.A.U. was unable to do nothing to address the problem.

Dictator Regimes
Democracy was under a serious threat by the presence and frequent emergence of despotic regimes in the African states. This was not good enough for the fledgling democracy of the continent. There was also a threat to the principle of rule of law and good governance. These principles were negotiable if the continent was to develop.

Involvement of Civil Society
The Organization of African Unity did not involve civil society in its operations and there were no mechanisms for doing so. This was considered as a loophole which alienated the organization from the ordinary African.

Non-recognition of women
The structures and operations of the O.A.U. failed to integrate women, youth and the marginalized youth.

OAU at a Cross-road
By the end of the 20th century, all African countries had become sovereign states. There was, therefore, no struggle against colonialism or battle against Apartheid South Africa. The O.A.U. got to a cross-road and did not to know which direction to take.

Internal Conflicts
The Organization of African Unity had been demobilized by internal conflicts and self-serving leaders. If the continent was to get out of the woods and make any meaningful progress, the situation as it was, had to change.

Economic & Political integration
The O.A.U. had failed to achieve political and economic integration among member states. This had defeated the basic reason for its formation which was unity.
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