African Union’s Complicated Record Belies Continent-Spanning Narratives

A little more than a decade ago, in July 2002, the African Union (AU) was formed against an inauspicious backdrop. For Africa, the previous decade had been defined by conflict, state collapse, failed peacekeeping missions and even genocide. So dire had Africa’s condition become that in May 2000 the Economist captured its malaise under the infamous rubric, “the hopeless continent.” The AU’s mission over the past decade was in part to challenge and rewrite such bleak narratives. Looking back, its record is mixed, particularly in its attempts to position itself as the principal vehicle for the advancement of democratization on […]

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