On July 9, the African union will celebrate 20 years since it was established in 2002, at Kings Park Stadium, Durban, South Africa.
This founding date of African Union was also the last summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The Heads of State of the continent turned out in numbers amidst a concert of vuvuzelas, military music and Zulu dances.
Libyan President Col.Muammar Gaddafi reminded his counterparts that the idea of replacing a breathless organization with a pragmatic union, intended to prepare for a “United States of Africa” which he had actualy launched in Sirte, three years earlier?
“We accept those who want to help us, but we do not want those who want to impose their conditions on us,” he added, before concluding with one of his favorite slogans: “African land for Africans!”
According to a survey conducted by François Soudan on why Africans almost no longer believe in the African Union, he observed that “the African Union now 20 years old continues to be perceived by Africans as ineffective and lacking in credibility.
The reasons mostly fronted hinge on the fact that there is lack of political will of AU’s heads of state, who are reluctant to strengthen the power of the organization, the only way to restore a bond of trust with the populations of the continent.
Wade, Mbeki, Mugabe, Mubarak, Dos Santos, Kabila, Gbagbo, Déby, Bongo, El-Bashir, Zenawi… Like the Libyan “Guide”, many of the leaders present on the AU’s founding day have since left the front of the scene, taking with them the promises of dawn.
Indeed, twenty years later, the AU, which, in the words of a report by its Commission published three years ago, “has continued to imitate the European Union in terms of institutional structure and trajectory of integration”, is far from reaching the performance of its model – which is not necessarily the most adapted to the continent.