An Indictment on the Existence of the African Union – Alex Ndungu Njeru


In the history of mankind, there cannot be a body that exisisted that is as useless, clueless and irrelevant as the African Union. I mean why does it exist? The events coming out of Egypt and the subsequent statement by the Africa Union on the situation has left me questioning the moral and overarching legitimacy of the African Union on the African people.

Ever since the African Union was formed in the year 1963 As the Organization of African Unity (OAU), nothing good tangible and of note can be attributed to the continental body. Around the time of its formation, it is countries coming out of colonialism were accenting to the OAU charter. The OAU at the time was the new club in town of the newly independent countries in African.  In those times, optimism was rife among the African people, for African people truly believed that colonial administrations were the biggest impediments to the development and progress of the Africa.

Independence in Africa was supposed to usher in a new era of bliss for Africa’s people, economic bliss at that, at independence and truth be told, democracy and the rule of were the least of concerns for African people. After all, the belligerent culture and psyche that was so important in seeing through most African countries through armed independent struggle. After independence the Organization of African Unity clearly eschewed the values of democracy and rule of law. In the 60’s 70’s and 80’s decades Africa was known for autocracatic, and dictatorial rule that generally brought unknown tumult in Africa.

A report by Freedom House says that in from 1980-1990 decade the African country had on average 4 ‘free Countries’ which represented 7.8% of all countries in Africa, the number ‘partly free’ countries was 18 which represented 35.2% , the number of ‘not free’ countries was 29 which represented 56.8% of all countries in the country at the time. In the subsequent 1990 to 2000 decade there were only modest improvements in the freedom of Africa, the number of free countries increased to 9, the number of partly free countries was 18 and the number of partly not free countries reduced to 26. This modest increased can in part by the Structural Adjustment Programmes of the late 1980’s decade and early 1990’s decade which spurred African countries to liberalize their economies and politics.

During these two decades African countries had dictators like Mobutu Ssseseko, Daniel Moi, Sani Abacha among others who worked tirelessly to enfeeble Africa’s aspirations of expanded freedoms. These leaders it has to be said were at the helm of the OAU through heads of states summit and thus it can be said that they were not too eager to expand the freedoms of the African people. Which brings me to the question, why have a continental body that does not improve the lives of the citizens of that particular continent?


Keith Somerville as “Africa’s virulent military virus,” From 1961 to 2004, with a record of 80 successful coups, 181 failed ones. AU Act does not appear to be strong enough deterrents. Africa it seems is continent where the coups   de tats proliferate and are accepted as the rule rather than exception. In Africa only 10 countries of 56 have never experienced a coup. Coups have the ability of altering social, economic, and political stability even Kenya which is not known for coup de tats save for the 1982 coup against president Daniel Moi which changed him from a rather sanguine figure to the autocratic, despot that Kenya had to make to do with for very long.

The problem with ascension to the AU is that it is almost automatic to all internationally recognized states on the continent. Ascension to the AU barely makes constrains to accession on grounds of human rights and such issues. Under the watch of the former OAU and now the AU genocides in Darfur, Eastern DR Congo and a host of many other countries have continued to happen.  The AU ‘tongue in cheek does not tolerate democracy’ otherwise how do you explain leaders like the Mugabes of Africa

When the army in the Egypt deposed Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, African countries and head heads of states were the first to voice their most vociferous reservations, first it was Kenya’s new president Uhuru Kenyatta, ‘who termed the events coming from Egypt as troubling’ on behalf of the African union and the Tanzanian administration followed suit. Perhaps and for good measure the African presidents and head of states are afraid that, once the torches of popular uprisings are lit in places like Egypt, they shall spread throughout the continent like bushfire.

In short the Africa Union exists for the self-preservation of the imperial rule of the heads of state in Africa.

Alex Ndungu Njeru writes from Kenya

Alex rants against the African Union and what he perceives as its weaknesses