Strengthening Popular Participation in the African Union

A Guide to AU Structures and Processes

Publication date: 1 January 2009
Author: Rudo Chitiga, development policy consultant; Bronwen Manby, Open Society Institute’s Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP)
The African Union (AU) has committed to a vision of Africa that is ‘integrated, prosperous and peaceful … driven by its own citizens, a dynamic force in the global arena’ (Vision and Mission of the African Union, May 2004).

This guide is an effort to take up the challenge of achieving this vision. It is a tool to assist activists to engage with AU policies and programs. It describes the AU decision-making process and outlines the roles and responsibilities of the AU institutions. It also contains a sampling of the experiences of those non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have interacted with the AU.

The Guide is divided into three sections:

  1. A description of African Union organs and institutions.
  2. Suggestions on how to influence AU decisions and policy processes.
  3. A summary of the debate to restructure the AU into a ‘Union Government’.