In This Review

The African Union: The First Ten Years
The African Union: The First Ten Years
By Omar Alieu Touray
Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, 260 pp

The African Union emerged in 2001 as a replacement for the dysfunctional Organization of African Unity. With its 55 members, the AU is the premier intergovernmental organization on the continent. Touray’s balanced survey of its record during its first ten years argues that the AU hasn’t made much more progress than the OAU achieved in realizing the long-standing pan-African aspirations of its architects, who hoped to promote economic integration and improve national governance. Both organizations have failed in part because their member governments have treated them as clubs for heads of state and in part because of a chronic lack of resources. Compared with the OAU, however, the AU has played a much more productive role in international peacekeeping operations, where it has proved useful to both African countries and Western governments. Touray also argues convincingly that the AU has helped change norms in the region on issues such as the legitimacy of military rule.