African Union members need to transfer meaningful powers to AU organs — experts

“Over the last three years 2021, 2022 and 2023, 93% of decisions have not been implemented,” the African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, lamented recently, highlighting a crucial problem facing the pan-African organization, whereby “fixing the problem requires political willingness by member states to gradually sacrifice their sovereignty for the greater good of continental integration,” according to experts.
In his recent speech, Mahamat accused member states of getting in the way of the commission doing its work, and failing to match rhetoric with action. Experts largely agree with him and call for action on the AU powers. In a recent analysis with an apt title “The African Union is Weak Because its Members Want it That Way” published in The Conversation, experts point out that the real power within the AU lies in the hands of its assembly, composed of heads of state and government, but the assembly has refused to transfer meaningful powers to any of the AU organs. The experts also highlight the key difference between the AU and the European Union, whereby in the latter, supranational, binding powers are exercised by organs such as the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The AU’s aim of deepening continental integration in Africa is not matched by the powers of its organs. As various AU-mandated reports have shown, the organization is dysfunctional and not fit for purpose. According to the analysis, ”fixing the problem requires political willingness by member states to gradually sacrifice their sovereignty for the greater good of continental integration. Also, more innovative and creative ways are needed to see how powers can be transferred to weak AU organs.” The experts behind the analysis thus call on the AU member states to “commit to coming up with a feasible plan that shows how, in the short to medium term, they intend to transfer meaningful powers to the AU Commission and the Pan-African Parliament.”

About Geraldine Boechat 2711 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia