A "culture of conservatism" : How and why African Union member states obstruct the deepening of integration (21 pages)
the gap between the au and its member states
Okumu 2008; Akokpari 2008). Some of these challenges have already
been addressed by the AU and some progress has been made.
However, no one can expect that these deep-rooted problems can be
solved within days, weeks, months, or even years. Most of the prob-
lems are structural and it will take decades to overcome them.
Consequently, the yardstick for measuring the success of the AU must
not be the outcome of the AU policies but the approach the organ-
isation takes in tackling these challenges. The analysis must therefore
focus on the coherence, commitment and determination of the AU and
its member states. Only then can a balanced and fair judgment of the
organisation be provided.
3. The gap between the AU and its member
The following examination of the PAP, the APRM, and the proposed
Union Government for Africa helps to reveal the divergent interests of
the AU and its member states that open a gap between the organ-
isation's ambitions and policies on the one hand, and its member
states' individual interests and policies on the other hand. Moreover,
the AU policy of fighting unconstitutional change of government and its
attempts to establish a viable peace and security architecture are
scrutinised. The presented empirical material sheds some light on how
earnestly the AU member states work within the AU framework.
The PAP is currently an advisory organ of the AU and is in
theory designed to become the legislative arm of the organisation. In
2001, African leaders adopted a protocol noting that the PAP "shall
[…] evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose
members are elected by universal adult suffrage" (Organisation of
African Unity 2001). Yet the PAP is far from this stage. Currently each
member state has five delegates in the parliament, which is based in
Midrand, South Africa. The parliamentarians are not elected by popular
vote, but sent by national institutions — mostly national parliaments —
without direct approval of the electorate.
One might therefore assume that the parliamentarians are loyal
to their national governments. Hence it might come as a surprise that
the PAP is rather vocal and critical, particularly through its election ob-
server missions in several African countries. The report on Zimbabwe's
2008 election, for instance, aptly "concluded that the atmosphere pre-
Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 36, No 1 Martin Welz