In his opening remarks at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU), the Chairperson of the AU Commission emphasized the challenges that Africa and African faced, citing the COVID 19 pandemic, terrorism, and the importance of institutional reform for several challenges that impacted in the leadership of the commission. During the two-day meeting, the leaders of the member states also discussed these problems from one end to the other. They reflected the prevalence of the COVID 19 and the lack of immunizations, as well as the public attitude as challenges posed to vaccines. Conflict in the Horn of Africa, and the growing trend of coups in West Africa was also major issue.
Stressing at the point of the reform from the Chairperson of the AU Comments, the importance of the institutional reform is not questionable as Africa undergoes several foreign interferences through a different mechanism.
The sovereignty of the member states is being violated in various ways. Powerful states are interfering in the affairs of African countries. Travel bans, sanctions, conditionality on aid, and discontinuing agreements have deliberately weakened the African state diplomacy and economy. When necessary, State directly intervenes in state affairs while they can interfere in the internal affairs of countries, using international agencies as well.
These incidents are essentially left for the state while AU also needs to react with them. Although the complexities of Africa’s problems challenge the effectiveness of the union, AU must protect its members from unnecessary interference.
Over the past year, Ethiopia had been under intense pressure from the Western media, as well as the Western powerful state. Even though, the AU member state hailed the success of the summit as a result of the Ethiopian government and people. But the important thing is how to continually deal with such pressure.
Looking in to the European Union and the Arab League, both institutions are good at defending their member state. Their efforts to protect their members from unfair interference by various countries will be a good experience for the African Union. However, these same institutions also intervene in the internal affairs of Asia and Africa in various ways. The Union needs a strong team and goal to prevent such interference.
Some state diplomatic ties are problematic. Their statements are comprehensive at the institutional level while in practice, however, the opposite is true. At the national level, it has been observed that they are working on a variety of trades for one group.
The AU institutional reform intends to include the possible ways of defending such interference or empowering the diplomatic capacity of the member state. If the African Union ignores such complexity of diplomatic affairs, Africa will continue to be a political playing ground for several states.