Continuity and change in the OAU/AU;a critical assesment of the African Union as aninstrument for democratic governance in Africa
Compared to all other regions of the world, Africa is the least developed yet with no clear steps out of the underdevelopment quagmire. This study acknowledges the damage occasioned to Africa by slave trade and the colonial heritage which hasten to apportion responsibility on the African leadership itself. The continent crisis of poor leadership, identity and confidence manifests in her misrule socio-economic mismanagment, conflicts and retardation. This study evaluates Africa's recent steps to address the phenomenon through the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union and the chances of effectively addressing the under development impasse through democratic governance. The study also advances the view that democratisation of the African political, cultural and socio-economic conditions cannot be attained in the midst of ignorance which is exploited to the maximum by the leadership hence the need for the emancipation of the populace across the continent. It is further argued that full democratisation and the related sustainable economic development cannot be fully achieved without resolving the unfairness and tension between the state and society rooted in the failure to assign people the highest degree of human dignity aimed at encouraging national ownership and confidence for the requisite political and socio-economic growth. The study thus emphasises the adherence to democratic dictates, the significance of African Unity through integration and the need for Africa's own solutions to problems through research and development. This study advances the view that besides enacting democratic laws, Africa should seek the international backing in the universal enforcement of democratic norms to curtail the rampant abuse of power on the continent. The study further expounds on the apparent conspiracy between the developed world and some of the African leadership that perpetually keeps the continent on a match time. It is noted that there are no meaningful practical steps taken so far to address the missing link of democratic governance and that even the liberal policies being embraced are selectively applied in favour of the rulers against the common good of Africans. Finally, it is observed that addressing Africa's shortcomings did not of necessity require the change of name from OAU to the AU but an amendment of the scope to address the selfish attitudes of some leaders for an operational environment that is geared towards the people's common good as opposed to self interests. Last but not least, my sincere appreciation goes to the Ugandan government, the NDC - Kenya for availing me this study opportunity, my SDS - Sponsor Major Gen Anthony M. Rob and the Project Research Supervisor Dr. C. O. Hiteng for their untiring guidance.