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The African Union's Africa

The African Union's Africa: New Pan-African Initiatives in Global Governance

Rita Kiki Edozie
with Keith Gottschalk
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    The African Union's Africa
    Book Description:

    The African Union's Africa: New Pan-African Initiatives in Global Governanceexamines the initiatives of the Pan-African global governance institution the African Union (AU) as the organization and its precursor commemorate their Jubilee as international actors. Taking a unique approach, the book seeks to explain the AU through a theoretical framework referred to as "the African Union phenomenon," capturing the international organization's efforts to transform the national politics of Africa as well as to globalize the practice of African politics. The authors examine Africa's self-determined international norms and values such as Pan-Africanism, African Solutions to African Problems, Hybrid Democracy, Pax Africana, and the African Economic Community to demonstrate that Africa-the world's least developed region-is composed of crucial values, institutions, agents, actors, and forces that are, through the AU, contributing to the advancement of contemporary global development. The book reveals how in the areas of cultural identity, democracy, security, and economic development Africans are infusing new politics, economics, and cultures into globalization representing the collective will and imprint of African agency, decisions, ideas, identities, practices, and contexts. Via a Pan-African vision, the AU is having both regional and global impact, generating exciting possibilities and complicated challenges.

    eISBN: 978-1-60917-421-7
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Gerald C. Horne

    Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana is generally given credit for realizing the Pan-African dream with the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 and its recently minted successor, the African Union (AU). This outstanding new book by Rita Kiki Edozie—and her collaborator, Keith Gottschalk—does eminent justice to the fruit of Nkrumah’s dream and, in the process, provides a rich and textured analysis of the AU and what it will mean for the all-important global correlation of forces.

    Giving Nkrumah his just due for the Pan-African project is not inaccurate, though it must be said that the...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Introduction: The African Union as Pan-African Method and as New Study of International Relations
    (pp. xix-l)

    As the plane touched down in Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I began to reflect on the curious questions that my colleagues had asked me about my research travel to Africa this year. Much more familiar with Africanist academics and international researchers traveling to places like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi, Abuja, Lagos, and Accra, many asked “Where is Addis Ababa?” Once I located Addis (short for Addis Ababa) as the capital and foremost commercial city of Ethiopia and informed them that I was headed to Addis for archival and survey/interview field research for the current book on Africa’s...


    • Chapter 1 Africa’s African Union: Globalization and Global Governance
      (pp. 3-28)

      In September 2005 on behalf of Chadian victims, a Belgian judge charged former Chadian President Hissène Habré with crimes against humanity, war crimes in Chad, and torture while he was president from 1982 to 1990. Habré sought political refuge in Senegal. Subsequently, on March 17, 2006, the European Parliament demanded that Senegal turn over Habré to Belgium to be tried. Senegal did not c omply. Instead, Senegalese authorities—where the former Chadian president had now been exiled for almost twenty years—arrested Hissène Habré and asked the African Union (AU) to recommend how to try Habré. On July 2, 2006,...

    • Chapter 2 The Evolving ‟African” Suprastate: Histories, Anatomies, and Comparisons
      (pp. 29-58)

      Perhaps world history and current global politics would be different: if the thirteen US colonies had failed to agree on federation in 1789, and broken up into thirteen independent countries; if India had remained divided between fifty-five princely states; if China was now divided between fifty-five warlords; and most significantly, if Africa’s fifty-five states were one country under one government. This last hypothetical would have become reality had Kwame Nkrumah had his way at the 1963 foundation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to which Africa’s African Union (AU) is a sequel. In his own prescient bookAfrica Must...


    • Chapter 3 Pan-Africanist Globalization and Cultural Politics: Promoting the African World View
      (pp. 61-96)

      The extract is cited from a 2007 New York City town hall gathering organized by African Americans in the New York area to respond to the historic Sixth Region Diaspora Clause policy enactment of the African Union (AU). In 1976, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had divided Africa into five regions: West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, and North Africa. In 2002, more than twenty years later, the fifty-three countries that signed the founding AU Constitutive Act proclaimed that they were “inspired by the noble ideals, which guided the founding fathers of our Continental Organization and generations...

    • Chapter 4 The African Union Democracy: Navigating Indigenous Rights and Inclusions in Neoliberal Contexts
      (pp. 97-126)

      This is how a news press story announced the African Union’s (AU’s) election as chairperson for the year of President Obiang Nguema Mbagoso of Equatorial Guinea in 2011:

      Nothing here should come as a shock, but the AU’s credibility and relevancy took another nose dive when the organization elected President of Equatorial Guinea as the new chairman…. He assumes the AU mantle when myriads of recent [democracy] crises in Egypt, Tunisia, and Ivory Coast require exemplary leadership from the continental mother body. President Obiang, a dictator himself who took over in a bloody military coup in 1979, presided over several...

    • Chapter 5 Pax Africana versus International Security: New Routes to Conflict Resolution
      (pp. 127-152)

      Examine the following scenarios that occurred in 2013 to illustrate the dire challenges of the African continent in the areas of security, conflict, and conflict resolution. First, there were events in Somalia:

      The UN, a merchant of death and a satanic force of evil, has a long, inglorious record of spreading nothing but poverty, dependency and disbelief.¹

      This was the rationale given by Somalia’s al-Shabaab on June 19, 2013, for its deadly attack on the United Nations (UN) compound in Mogadishu that killed twenty-two including six UN staff, seven civilians, and seven al-Shabaab insurgent fighters. Significantly, however, it was Africans...

    • Chapter 6 Driving the Pan-African Economic Agenda: Ideology and Institutionalism
      (pp. 153-180)

      In reflecting on the African Union’s (AU’s) first ten years of achievements and challenges, founding AU chairperson Thabo Mbeki revealed the foremost rationale for the institution’s establishment. It would transform and modernize the African economies to end the unequal and exploitative economic relations between Africa and the West. It would end Africa’s economic marginalization and the continent’s unequal access to the claimed benefits of globalization (Mbeki 2012b).

      The agenda that Mbeki refers to was presented in more practical detail at the Union’s January 2012 Eighteenth Summit, “Boosting Intra-African Trade.” The Assembly members who convened for the annual meeting of heads...


    • Chapter 7 The African Union’s Africa: Its Prospects and Its Challenges
      (pp. 183-212)

      InNo One’s World, Charles Kupchan predicts a global world that will no longer be dominated by the West (Western Europe, the United States, and the geopolitically West, Japan). In twenty years, the Western share of global gross domestic product has fallen from 75 percent to 50 percent and is rapidly still falling as emerging markets—China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil to name a few, countries he refers to as the “Rest”—are growing exponentially. As a result of these countries’ growing economic influence, in the short-term future, argues Kupchan, the international system will be much more plural...

  10. Conclusion The (Pan) African Union Phenomenon: Mali as Exemplar
    (pp. 213-240)

    The African Union (AU) held its Twentieth Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 27 and 28, 2013, and significantly, Ethiopia, the country site of the AU’s headquarters, assumed the leadership of the international organization. In accepting the leadership mantel from Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi, President Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s new prime minister at the time, expressed commitment to Africa’s founding fathers for laying a solid foundation for the unity and solidarity of Africa when they met in Addis Ababa fifty years prior to establish the AU’s mother—the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The new leader of Africa...

  11. Appendix African Union: Provenance and Derivation of Organs and Institutions in Comparative Context
    (pp. 241-244)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 245-246)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 247-260)
  14. Index
    (pp. 261-263)