AFRICA IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Continental Cooperation in Africa originated from Pan African Movement, This was the movement originated from Trans-Atlantic slave trade which took place between the 15th
century and the 19th
century. So due to the experience of humiliation, economic exploitation and oppression African motivated to cooperate together in order to overcome their terrible situation.
Objectives of establishing continental cooperation
ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU)
- To unite all people of African origin in the struggle against political oppression.
- To protect African culture from destruction.
- To preserve African political and freedom.
- To fight against the exploitation such as land alienation, forced labor, and discrimination of African products.
Organization of African Unity was born in May 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this was after foreign ministers of 32 African states met in Addis Ababa under the Chairmanship of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Tanganyika was among the founder members of O.A.U. Chairmanship of the organizational was rotational, each member state would ultimately get a chance of chairing the continental body.
Objectives/ Purposes of the O.A.U
Achievement of the O.A.U
- To promote continental unity and solidarity of the African states in order to achieve a better life of their people.
- To protect and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the African states.
- To eradicate all the forms of the colonialism in Africa.
- To promote international cooperation in line with the Charter of United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human rights.
Problems facing O.A.U
- It has been able to unite the various countries in Africa to sit and discuss the issues facing their continent.
- Also, O.A.U has advanced in the fighting against forms of oppression such as It has succeeded in burying colonialism in Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.
- It has united African countries to have a common voice in an international forum such as UN.
- O.A.U has been a forum to settle and discuss problems concerning individuals and border conflicts.
- O.A.U has been an instrumental in promoting economic, social and technical advancement in the continent.
AFRICAN UNION (AU)
- Interference by external powers in the affairs of the African continent. For example, notorious powers such as USA, Britain, France and the former Soviet Union provided financially and armaments support to different African states, by doing so divided African states in decision making.
- Members of O.A.U are threatened by environmental problems such as water pollution in the lakes and rivers, cut and burn forests irresponsibly and fishing with the use of chemicals in water bodies.
- Many African countries are still dependent on the capitalist economy.
- Differences in languages, African states are tied to the language of the former colonial masters while others are using their vernacular languages and are proud of their languages so this has narrowed the cooperation among the member states.
- Major discussions and resolutions passed by the O.A.U exist on paper only without implementations.
- There are different levels of development in African states due to the poverty, illiteracy and unequal distribution of resources.
Due to the different challenges faced O.A.U, there was the idea of forming a new stronger organization which would accommodate these new challenges, this idea was pioneered by Muammar Gaddafi the former Leader of Libya. So The Lusaka Summit of 2001 further gave the final go-ahead for the establishment of the AU, which was born in Durban, South Africa in 2002.
Objectives of the AU
Achievements of the AU
- To promote peace, security, and stability of the African states.
- To promote and defend African common interests.
- To accelerate the integration of the continent economically, socially and politically.
- To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of member states.
- To promote unity and solidarity among African people and countries.
- To promote human and people’s right, in accordance with African human and people’s right.
Challenges experienced by the AU
- AU peacekeepers have served in Darfur, Sudan and helped to protect the lives of thousands of vulnerable people.
- AU has been involved in tackling disputes experienced in the African continent.
- AU also has supported the efforts at regional cooperation such as the formation of the EAC, SADC, and ECOWAS.
- AU has been proactive in tackling African challenges.
African Regional Cooperation
- Only a few members of AU have agreed to send their troops for peacekeeping operations in Somalia so this undermines the efforts of the organization.
- AU continues to rely on financial support from advanced nations and United Nations in order to fund some of her programs.
- Many AU member states continued to support President Robert Mugabe’s Presidency in spite of the flawed presidential elections in 2008.
- Terrorism continues to plague the member states such as Uganda in 2010, Somalia and Kenya.
- Many African countries are far from achieving political stability.
After realizing that cooperation in Africa is important for working together in order to overcome developmental challenges facing individual countries, there was a need of forming Regional cooperation in order to work together due to geographical, historical and cultural advantages. Examples of Regional cooperation existed in Africa include COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS and East African Community. (EAC).
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
COMESA is an economic grouping country established on 8th
December 1994. It was formed in order to facilitate growing and development of African countries through cooperation in the exploitation of the resources in the African countries. COMESA comprising of 21 states in East and Southern Africa namely Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, The Comoros, Burundi, Eritrea, Egypt, Seychelles, Mauritius, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Djibouti, and DRC.
Objectives of COMESA
Principles of COMESA
- To promote peace, security, and stability among the member states for economic development.
- To create an environment for foreign investment through the joint promotion of research, and promotion of the use of science and technology.
- To promote a balanced and harmonious development of production and marketing.
- To rising standards of living of the people and fostering close relations among member states.
- To cooperate and strengthening of relations between the common market and the rest of the world.
Achievement of COMESA
- Maintenance of regional peace and stability through the promotion of good neighboring.
- Respect rule of law.
- Recognition of equality and interdependence of member states.
- Solidarity and collective self-reliance among member states.
- Recognition and promotion and protection of human and people’s rights
- Recognition of the accountability, economic justice and popular participation in the development.
Challenges faced by COMESA
- Measures have been taken to improve transport and communication systems within the common market for easy movement of services, people, and goods in the region.
- Trade has been liberalized within the common market.
- Measures have taken to create a more enabling environment for investment in order to encourage the growth of private sector investment.
- Member states are provided with food security and a large market for agricultural commodities.
- COMESA policies promote the expansion of employment opportunities within the common market.
- Also, COMESA promotes the culture of democratic governance, accountability, and respect for human rights.
EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY
- Boundary quarrels have slowed down the implementation of COMESA programs.
- Civil wars among the member states also undermined COMESA, for example, the presence of civil wars in Uganda, Northern, and Southern Sudan, DRC and other places.
- Poor transportation network from member states.
- Each member state in the COMESA uses a different currency.
This is the regional intergovernmental organization established in 2000. Initially, it consisted of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda and later Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. East Africa Community headquarter is in Arusha, Tanzania. The aim of this community is to increase intra-regional trade and raise the prominence of East Africa internationally.
The first EAC, which succeeded the East African Common Services Organization on December 1, 1967, it was established by the Treaty for East African Co-operation, signed in June 1967 by the presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. This organization was dissolved in 1977, but links between the three governments were reaffirmed with the establishment of the Permanent Tripartite Commission for East African Co-operation in November 1993. That body continued the mission of the EAC until July 2000, when the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community entered into force. The second incarnation of the EAC was intended to integrate its members much more deeply, with the ultimate goal of establishing a regional political federation akin to the European Union. Rwanda and Burundi joined the EAC in 2007 and South Sudan became a member in 2016
Objectives of East Africa Community
Achievements of East Africa Community
- Promotion of trade between the East African countries.
- To provide common services to the East African regions, such services include; railways and harbors, posts, telecommunication systems and airways.
- To create a free movement of the people of the region.
- To facilitating research services in various areas such as agriculture, medicine, and population.
- To provide a forum through which issues of discussion are discussed.
Challenges lead to the collapse of EAC
- Economic cooperation was attained
- Common services were provided to the East Africa countries, such services included postal services and telecommunication services.
- East Africa Development Bank was formed to serve the regions of East Africa.
- There was a forum where leaders could discuss regional matters.
- East Africa provided a wider market for the people in the region.
- Personal differences among three head of states and government
- Ideological differences among the member states.
- Political instability especially in Uganda and conflict between Uganda and Tanzania.
- National pride among each of the partner state.
- Misunderstanding between three partner states over the issue of railway transport.