African Union (AU)

Examining inter-state cooperation and regional integration, and the role of the African Union in shaping the continent’s strategic vision and agenda.

Despite wider strains in multilateralism across the globe, recent initiatives spearheaded by the African Union such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) reflect increased movement across the continent towards more coordinated and harmonised policy action. 

Agenda 2063, the AU’s blueprint for Africa’s transformation into an ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful’ continent adopted in 2015, articulates seven aspirations, from inclusive growth to people-driven development to cultural heritage preservation.

However, as the world’s largest continent by number of countries, supranational governance faces complex challenges, including the delineation of mandates, responsibilities and activities with the regional economic communities (RECs) and individual member states; as well as capacity-building and resource mobilisation.

The institutional reforms underway to address these are of increasingly critical importance given the AU’s growing leadership on collective security through the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and the entry of frameworks such as the AfCFTA into operationalisation phase.