Thursday, January 15, 2009

AFRICAN UNION--Quote of the Day: African Union & its Symbolic Dimension of African unity

Africa Union HQ in Ethiopia

SOURCE: African Regional Integration and the Role of the European Union
by Professor Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt, pp.6-7
download it here:

For the past few days, I've been reading round the theories that make regional integration what it is; as well as browsing through some papers written by students and whatnot about what makes African regional integration. I came across this source by Professor Kuhnhardt, and think the following is a quotation worth noting:

It may well be that eventually it will not be the African Union but the most advanced and deep sub-regional groupings – the building blocs of an African Economic Community – that may become African equivalents of the European Union. The African Union may continue to serve the prime objective of promoting African unity as a matter of identity and the external projection of African claims. But while the African Union may continue to represent the symbolic dimension of African unity, some of the building blocs of sub-regional groupings in Africa may evolve into the strong representatives of deep region-building.

The good professor goes on to add that so far it is ECOWAS and SADC that are "the most successful examples of deepened integration among sub-regional groupings on the African continent." He adds that the "re-born" East African Community could follow close behind, making the latter three the "advanced and comprehensive regional groupings in today's Africa."

Finally, he adds, "they may eventually mature into the African equivalents of the European Union -- supranational entities hold together and advanced by a common body of legislature and a multi-level system of governance."

Perhaps his biggest prediction ever is this:

In turn, the African Union may develop into a hybrid of the Council of Europe,
the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations – a collective security organ defined by the quest for a common identity and its global recognition.

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