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ABSTRACT

The African union is one of the world’s most important intergovernmental organizations. It is composed of 54 countries works diplomatically with each other despite differences in geography, history, race, language, and religion to try to improve the political, economic, and social situations for the approximately one billion people that live on African continent. The African Union promises to protect African’s rich cultures, some of which have existed for thousands of years. The African Union contains every independent African countries except Morocco (Katherine Schulz Richard, Geography Intern 17/8/2012)

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The African Union is premised on the idea that a process of integration within the continent may enable African countries and people to find their rightful role in the international community. It provides a setting in which members can discuss how to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to coordinate and intensify cooperation within the framework of the UN. Africa is besieged by the cliché headline of the 4“s: destruction, death, disease, and despair. However, the AU is aspiring to achieve a common vision of a united and strong Africa and to build a strong partnership between governments and civil society. (National Model United Nations 1/4/2008)

The term “NEW WORLD ORDER” (or NWO) is typically defined as evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. Despite various interpretations of this term, it is primarily associated with the ideological notion of Global Governance only in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, Understand, or address worldwide problem that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve. We are now approaching a period of world history where this may soon become a reality as necessitated by international trade, plummeting economic issues, and prevailing political thought across the globe. (Teddy c. Ryan 29/12/2011).

CHAPTER 1

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The African union is one of the world’s most important intergovernmental organizations. It is composed of 54 countries works diplomatically with each other despite differences in geography, history, race, language, and religion to try to improve the political, economic, and social situations for the approximately one billion people that live on African continent. The African Union promises to protect African’s rich cultures, some of which have existed for thousands of years. The African Union contains every independent African countries except Morocco (Katherine Schulz Richard, Geography Intern 17/8/2012).

The African Union is premised on the idea that a process of integration within the continent may enable African countries and people to find their rightful role in the international community. It provides a setting in which members can discuss how to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to coordinate and intensify cooperation within the framework of the UN. Africa is besieged by the cliché headline of the 4“s: destruction, death, disease, and despair. However, the AU is aspiring to achieve a common vision of a united and strong Africa and to build a strong partnership between governments and civil society. (National Model United Nations 1/4/2008)

The term “NEW WORLD ORDER” (or NWO) is typically defined as evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. Despite various interpretations of this term, it is primarily associated with the ideological notion of Global Governance only in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, Understand, or address worldwide problem that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve. We are now approaching a period of world history where this may soon become a reality as necessitated by international trade, plummeting economic issues, and prevailing political thought across the globe. (Teddy c. Ryan 29/12/2011)

A definition of the American concept of the NWO can further be extracted from president Bush’s speech on September 11, 1990, soon after the breakout of the Gulf War, where he stated: “Out of these trouble times, our fifth objective, a New World Order can emerge: a new era, freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. “An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.”  (The Southern Times 15/06/2012)

Since the late 1980s, a new world order has been established with the end of the Cold War, the reunification of Germany, the official end of Apartheid, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the insolent supremacy of Western capitalism and cultural values and the recent demonstration of Anglo-American imperialism in Afghanistan and in Iraq just to mention a few. This modification of the international social, economic, and political arena has impacted poor and developing countries, especially those of Africa as J. Wiseman pinpoints that saying: “the end of the Cold War in the 1980s transformed the external environment in which African political system operated”.

Thus, the new international context brought tremendous shift in the social, economic, and political bodies in almost all African states. In fact, the ardent desire of African populations to stop mismanagement, social decay, and civil rights abuses eng  rwt4wljvendered continent-wide mass movements, which started in Benin in 1989.

Thanks to these protests, mostly led by students, unionists , unemployed people, teachers, and new breed of politicians, many African states experienced

 

political changes characterized by the end of one-party rule, the dismantling of civilian and military dictatorship, the drafting of new constitutions, and the holding of multi-party elections, the privatization of state-run firms and the rhetoric of good governance. (The journal of Pan African studies 9/8/2007)

To understand what is happening, we need to bear in mind Africa’s very specific role in the greater global economic order to maximize economic efficiency in the last few decades, the world has seen a major separating out of the economic functions, rather like the division of labor described by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations, and while any racial implications in this reorganization are strenuously denied, much of it is based on the inherent characters of different national groups. (Colin Liddell 20/4/2011)

African nations contemporarily find themselves stuck with problems that overwhelm local and at times even regional governments, and yet the international world remains absent from finding solutions to said solution to said problems. Issues like poverty, clean water, HIV/AIDS are but a few of the rampart phenomena thriving in Africa like nowhere else in the world. These issues are addressed by many international bodies, yet they have been recurrent for decades, African coalitional organizations that are erected to overcome problems also seem very latent in finding solutions or even responding to Africa problems (EU and AU) were even more active in Libya during its crisis way before the AU got involved. If Africa is part of the new World Order, it certain appears to be at the bottom of the priority list (The Southern times 15/06/2012)

 

 

 

 

  • BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The African Union which is formerly known as Organization of African Union (OAU) was established on 25 May 1963, at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the Charter of the OAU was signed on that occasion by the heads of states and government of 32 African states. The Organization was established to promote the unity and solidarity of African countries, to defend the sovereignty of members, to eradicate all forms of colonialism, to promote international cooperation with due regards for the UN charter and the universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to coordinate and harmonize Member States economic, diplomatic, educational, health, welfare, scientific, defense policies.

The establishment of the African union in 1963 marked the climax in the series of activities embarked upon by the African leaders both within and outside the continent “African people had long desired under a platform to promote and protect their collective interest (Saliu and Egboeli 1994) Thus the pan Africans project which essentially grew from the ideas of the blacks in the diaspora represented an initial attempt at actualizing the aspirations of Africans in global context, personalities such as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe among others, that later assumed leadership positions in Africa, drew their initial inspiration from their participation in the pan Africa movement.

“The arrival in Africa of pan Africanist especially after the second world war shifted focus of pan-Africanism to Africa”, partly as a result of the efforts of these personalities and their increasing profile in global politics.

The African union since inception has been putting all its efforts to achieve the noble aims and objectives set for it by its founders. Like other international organizations it has provided and still provides numerous opportunities for multilateral interaction among states or communities of nations. “The principal instrument for the aggregation of African demand the conduct of African diplomacy vis-à-vis the rest of the global community has since 1963 been the Organization of African Unity now African Union (AU) operates is customarily described as having three principle political subsystem namely; the West, East and the Third World all brought together as an imperfectly integrated family under the umbrella of United Nations Organization (UNO). To this end, Mathew posited that “the emergence of African as an active force in the world politics has been one of the best outstanding development in international arena in the past three decades, since it was established in May, 1963, the African Union comprising all independent African countries has become a vital instrument for the conduct of African diplomacy in world context (Mathew, 1987:14).

The African Union formed in 1963 to provide solutions to the myriad of problem facing the continent. But the situation of things now is a far cry from what it was in 1963.This was why General Ibrahim Babangida posited in Abuja at African Union summit in 1991 that “We also today witnessing monumental changes in the international system. Perhaps the most significant events are the end of cold war and the re-unification of Germany. Again, we are witnesses to democratization of Eastern Europe the increasing tempo of economic ascendancy of Japan. All these developments have great consequence and implications in the search for a New World Order particularly for us in Africa. We earnestly hope that new atmosphere will translate into increase co-operation for our development efforts. In such a New World Order Africa cannot and should not remain static” (Concord 4th June, 1991).

The Old World Order established immediately after World War II is being gradually reviewed. The disbandment of Warsaw pact in 1989 has put an end to the rivalry between North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) led by United State of

 

America coupled with this is disintegration of USSR (Union of Socialist Republic) vis-à-vis the American handling of the Gulf Crisis suggest that the concept of international relations may no longer predicated on balance of power errors and terrors. “In fact a New World Order (NWO) has emerged”.

In view of the above developments the AU needs to adapt in order to be relevant in the present scheme of things having achieved greatly in area of decolonization, Pan-Africanism and Non-alignment. The poser of African Union is now its relevance in New World Order.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The international system as presently constituted made Africa and the Third World countries largely dependent on the developed countries of the world particularly the capitalist countries.

The consequences are seen in;

  • An unequal share of world resources.
  • The development of dependent economies.

Associated to the above is that resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly which usually favor the developing countries of the world are hardly enforced. This pathetic situation led to the aggregation of the third world countries both through bilateral and multilateral relations to garner all their weight together in order to influence the international system for a radical change. This effort can be achieved through the UNO and its organs such as the General Assembly and other agencies. The above approaches fraught with the problem which derives from the fact that the UN General Assembly is such as that which have more or less moral or advisory connotation rather than legal implication as no institutional

 

mechanism in international system is capable of enforcing the general Assembly resolutions.

Also, equality of opportunity is not a universal phenomenon because the richest countries enjoy an unlimited access to international credit while poorest countries keep foreign exchange bottleneck. Therefore, there to find out what realistically would accrue to the third World and indeed African countries represented African Union is the emerging New World Order. The dialogue between the rich and poor African nation on a New International Economic Order (NIEO) has accomplished at least a few limited objective so far.

There has been a grudging acceptance by the rich nations that serious negotiation with few negotiation principle have emerged out of the resolutions of the seventh special session of the UN General Assembly (UN Resolution No. A/RES/3362(S-VII) and there is a search now for appropriate negotiating forum to discuss these issues a little further. This can be described as a good start. But there is still great confusion as to what few decades that both sides are trying to negotiate?

Another problem is that of conceptualization, there exist differences in the views of both the Third World and developed world on what exactly the NEW WORLD ORDER connotes. In view of the above problem therefore, what is the prospect of members in realization of their dreams in the emerging NOW?

  • RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study will be guided by the following hypotheses:

  1. Whether the African Union has played an impact on the political and economical transformation of Africa?
  2. Whether African Union has been responsive to contemporary African conflicts?
  • Whether African Union has a future prospect in the New World order?
    • OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Looking at African from the post-cold war era and the formation of Africa Union to help Africa in achieving socio development and integration, the objective of this study will focus on African Union AU as an institution, its duties to the African continent, its success so far in achieving this and its shortcomings as an organization.

In addition to the above, this study also aims:

  • To examine the role of African Union in the NOW
  • To explore the activities of the A.U with a view to seeing how it can cope with the present trend in global politics.
  • To re-examine the strategic continental organization against the background of the expectations and hopes of founding fathers.

 

  • SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study covers the historical background of African Nations, what led to the formation of African Union and how the organization has been able to meet the challenges of member nations and management of crises in Africa.

However, in spite of the researcher’s efforts to make this study comprehensive enough, some obvious limitations served as setbacks. The time constraints, inaccessibility to enough literature due the poor conditions of libraries and Also, there was difficulty in laying hold on the right kind of material for the topic as the

 

term “New World Order” in many literatures seem to be a term widely associated with a conspiracy theory of a one world government.

  • RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Due to the nature of the research topic and the constraints mentioned earlier, this approaches used in this study were historical and analytical Secondary data which include book by renowned authors in the field of international relations. Article published in journals, periodicals, newspapers and magazines were also reviewed and analyzed.

  • LITERATURE REVIEW

According to the copyrights designs and patent act of 1988, sec 3, a literature is any intellectual property in written form.  A researcher is however required to review previous studies or work off other researchers in a field of research interest. Literature review in a research is of prime importance because it helps the researcher examine or verify a present study with previous findings in order to appraise or draw conclusions objectively. In research, various models of literature review are applicable; they are the chronological review, categorical review, sequential review and logical review. Due to the nature of this study, the logical method will be used; which is a review of available literature using the general essay format of academic writings, that is, writing beginning with introduction and progressing into the body and conclusion. A vast array of literature including books, academic journals and articles will be consulted to carry out this study. This chapter would explore the past and present writings on African Union and New World Order.

 

 

AFRICAN UNION

The African union may be a shadow of the original post-colonial vision. But its potential to inspire remains. If one were to ask people in the street of any African capital to name a union of states that readily comes to mind, they are likely to mention United Nations, the United States of America and possibly European Union, And the African Union? Oh yes, yes, I have heard of it, a few might say. And yet the Organization of African Unity as the African Union was called in 1963 when it was set up in Addis Ababa with 30 signatories now includes virtually all the African states, and now 50years old. This means something, Africa is a huge continent: Europe, the US, China and India can be contained within it. This means that Africa has the most natural resources including lands for agriculture and mines for almost every conceivable mineral. These including her human resources have played a central role in the evolution of capitalism from its mercantile through its industrial to its current global finance dominance all to the advantage of the west and the disadvantage of the people of Africa. (The Guardian: Ngugi wa 23/5/2013).

In other policy areas, the African Union also face tremendous organizational and financial barriers. It took many years for the similar regional institution in Europe, Asia, and Latin America to establish themselves, and the AU faces additional challenges of endemic poverty and civil conflict among many of its Members States. The AU must establish ingenuity to keep moving forward, at the same time ensuring that it enjoys the support of it diverse Member States to further regional integration objectives. The eyes of the world may be averted from the routine struggles that the African continent endures, but the eyes of history are upon the Members States of AU. (National Model United Nations, 1/4/2008).

In recent years, the rise of the African Union has provided a direct and unified platform for deepening the mutual political trust between China and African countries. As the main driving force of African integration, the AU plays an increasingly important role in regional affairs, and has been drawing increasing attention for the similar role it plays with the international community. China’s economic influence has weakened the monopolistic interests of the Western power that have existed in Africa for hundreds of years. Driven by the economic cooperation between China and Africa, Africa is more valuable than ever, which has led many African countries to look east. (China Daily 22/02/2013).

African leaders should note that lack of funds has the potential of exposing the continent to the danger of “re colonization” of sort considering that more than 90 percent of the AU budget comes from non-Africans. Since many African countries still wallow in anguish poverty, smart western nations use the bait of funding to regain control over Africa, as fund don’t come without conditions (African Liberty. Org; Lanre Olagunju 6/06/2013).

NEW WORLD ORDER

The new world order (NWO) is not a novel term, its origin can be traced back to the period after the Great War (World war 1) when the then American president, Woodrow Wilson, used the phase to demonstrate his view on what he considered  a dire need for global co-operation regarding mass problems, as expressed in his famous 14 points. (The southern time; Samuel D Pascoal 15/06/012).

During the period of the South African struggle to defeat the criminal system of apartheid, the Black Consciousness Movement in our country  developed the mobilizing slogan Black man, you are on your own!. As Africans we must understand that ‘The New World Order’ means that in many ways as Africans we are on our own. This signifies that we must rely on our own strength and resources to achieve the energizing hope for peoples of Africa for a better future. We must therefore now try to answer the question How can Africa Reposition itself sustainably in a Shifting and Uncertain Global Order?

The very first point we must make in this regard is that even as we are confronted by a whole variety of uncertainties in the global context, we must also accept that there are also some certainties to which we must respond.

In this context, and given what we have said, it is critically important that we organize inclusive all Africa dialogues and interactions to.

Elaborate a common minimum program relating to shared African objectives relating to various spheres of human activity including politics, peace, and stability, the economy, social development including gender equality and youth empowerment, education and training, culture and the African identity.

Decided what actions we should take, in unity, to advance the all Africa agenda relating to all these spheres of human activity.

Act in unity to defend the independence of all African states, as well as the related right of Africa to determine its destiny. (The 2nd Africa Governance, Leadership and Management Convention: Mr. Thabo Mbeki 5/08/2011)

Africa’s relations, and therefore its position in the New World Order, are vast and stretch over various spheres including trade, the economy, security and health among others. Let us take one of these many spheres, namely trade as an example. Africa is a continent with an immense amount of bargaining power. It possess resources, both natural and human, that are of great interests not only to Western but also Eastern nations. The emergence of China economically and its interest in Africa have taken the continent forward mainly due to the fact that Africa nations now no longer exclusively depend on western markets. (The Southern Times; Samuel D Pascoal 15/06/2012).

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