The annual Assembly of African Heads of State and Government offers an opportunity to consider these issues and decide how to resolve them. This year, the summit will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 18 to 19 February. There are four issues that have stalled progress in the pan-African agenda. These issues relate to collective decision making, independent financing, division of labour and the adoption of common policies that would nurture strategic partnerships. The AU has no power to force member states to carry out common decisions. It can only monitor compliance on three legal instruments, including the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance). To see progress in policy implementation, member states will have to think seriously about how to arrive at binding, transparent and enforceable mechanisms. The AU’s financial reform process began in 2015 to make the organisation more self-reliant. Members committed to paying a 0.2% levy on various goods imported from outside the continent. A 2017 report on the operations of the AU noted that the division of labour between the union and regional communities was “unclear”. This caused a duplication of roles and a lack of clear boundaries. A new protocol on the relationship between the AU and regional economic blocs was adopted in 2020. But its details are yet to be finalised. The AU is working to increase its bargaining power in global politics by developing common policies and nurturing strategic partnerships. But because of member states’ insistence on sovereignty, few common policies have been developed.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION