The upcoming AU Summit will be “closed”, allowing only the accredited delegations and staff to participate in and witness its deliberations. What is clear is that it will give the current class of Africa’s Heads of State a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-shape the organization.
The African Union (AU) has until its summit in Addis Ababa at the end of January 2017 to rescue itself from institutional sclerosis. A coincidence of fiscal, succession, diplomatic and governance crises jostling for the attention of its forthcoming summit will afford the bi-annual conclave of Africa’s rulers a rare opportunity to re-invent the organization or risk irrelevance before respectable company. Without a reputation, however, for bold, imaginative decision making, the odds remain slim that the outcome of the summit will be anything more than business as usual. That will be a debacle for the organization and the continent.