The African Union at ten May 2012
The foundation of the African Union, on the 9th of July 2002 in Durban, was rightly hailed as a new era for collaboration across the continent. The AU promoted a new vision on democracy and good governance by sanctioning coups. African commitments on continental peace and security issues were reinforced, thanks to the creation of the African Peace and Security Architecture. Economic regional integration was further promoted through the pan-African body. The tenth anniversary of the AU's foundation, however, marks a difficult time for the organization. Never in its history, the AU had to face many difficulties such as those occurred in 2011: the revolts in North Africa faced many Sub-Saharan regimes with the risk of turning opposition movements into popular revolts. The collapse of Ben Ali, Qaddafi and Mubarak implied a temporary stop in the financial flows which covered the large majority of African voluntary contributions. The war in Libya forced the organization and its most prominent members to take a stance in a conflict that the continent perceived largely as externally-driven. The evolution in post-electoral Cote d’Ivoire requested a strong peer-pressure and ultimately a military intervention. This is why an evaluation of the results and drawbacks of the first decade of existence of the African Union seems particularly interesting.
Lia Quartapelle, Research Fellow ISPI, presents the Study.


Un continente in cerca d’autore

Gianpaolo Calchi Novati

Gli statuti dell’Unione europea hanno un contenuto sovranazionale più accentuato di quanto disposto dalla Carta dell’Unione africana. Eppure, in merito al potere decisionale dell’Europa è pressoché spontaneo riferirsi a... continua »

The African Union and the “Arab Spring”: An exception to new principles or return to old rules?

Kathryn Sturman

An unexpected wave of popular protests broke on Africa’s northern shores in 2011, starting with the political demise of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents, leading to more deadly conflict in Libya. These events – particularly those in Libya – have... continue »

The First Ten Years of AU and Its Performance in Peace and Security

Mehari Taddele Maru

No region is more plagued with violent conflicts than Africa. The presence of more than 11 peacekeeping missions composed of nearly 50,000 strong UN and AU peacekeepers in areas such as Darfur, Abyei, Somalia and the Democratic Republic... continue »

The commitment towards Africa’s economic development

Lia Quartapelle

The rethinking in concrete terms of the Pan-Africanist ideal, that was carried out when transitioning from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union, has also implied a shift in the priority and in the strategy attached to the issues... continue »

Semi d’unione nel deserto: il panafricanismo alternativo del Marocco

Francesca Biglia

Eredità di una storia coloniale disomogenea e di una decolonizzazione altrettanto disconnessa, la questione dell'integrità territoriale di un antico Impero sceriffiano che si faceva Marocco moderno appare crinale discrimi... continue »


Gianpaolo Calchi Novati (Head of Research), Lia Quartapelle (Coordination), Francesca Biglia, Mehari Taddele Maru, Kathryn Sturman.