What Type of Africa Do We Want?

AU Watch is the peoples’ organization. It was established because all of its original founders felt alienated from this ‘creature’ called the O/AU. Many of its supporters felt betrayed and disenchanted by the way AUMS treated the AU – the lack of funding, lack of space for citizens to participate in the affairs of the organization and lack of political will by the AUMS to implement the programs they had agreed upon were just some of the motivations to set up AU Watch. 

Since the establishment of the O/AU, 56 years ago, the challenges it had faced have always been the same. A quote from the past Chairperson of the AU, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the 50th Anniversary celebrations, sums up the frustrations of even the civil servants working in the AU: “The challenge that the Union and the Commission face is the capacity to implement … decisions.”Dr Dlamini-Zuma’s comment is an acceptance that the O/AU is fractured in many places and is just about hobbling along. It was an admission that the organization has lost its way and needs to change how it operates and relate to the African people, if it is to remain relevant. She appealed to Member States to ratify the treaties they approve at summits, to pay their subscriptions and to stop establishing new pan-African organizations when the existing ones are unaffordable.