kaberuka7_ Minasse Wondimu HailuAnadolu AgencyGetty Images_paul kagame

Empowering the African Union

By promoting Africa’s economic integration, safeguarding its sovereignty, and projecting its voice on the world stage, the African Union was supposed to bring about the continent’s full liberation and empowerment. To complete this task, however, the AU needs adequate, predictable, and sustainable funding that comes from within.

KIGALI – When the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in 1963, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, the bloc’s first president, issued a clarion call: “What we require is a single African organization through which Africa’s single voice may be heard, within which Africa’s problems may be studied and resolved. We need an organization which will facilitate acceptable solutions to disputes among Africans and promote the study and adoption of measures for common defense and programs for cooperation in the economic and social fields.” 

By promoting Africa’s economic integration, safeguarding its sovereignty and integrity, and projecting its voice and defending its interests on the world stage, the OAU – and its successor, the African Union – aimed to bring about the continent’s full liberation and empowerment. But, in order to fulfill this mission, the AU needs reliable resources of its own.

This is largely a matter of mindset, not means. Fortunately, mindsets are beginning to shift.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

  1. haass102_ATTAKENAREAFPGettyImages_iranianleaderimagebehindmissiles Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

    Taking on Tehran

    Richard N. Haass

    Forty years after the revolution that ousted the Shah, Iran’s unique political-religious system and government appears strong enough to withstand US pressure and to ride out the country's current economic difficulties. So how should the US minimize the risks to the region posed by the regime?

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.