African Union and the Promotion of Democratisation in Africa: Success and Challenges

Adebiyi, Oluwashina (2013-08)


Following the democratization process and the consequent re-introduction of popular democratic rule in some states in Africa in the 1990’s is a great deal of emphasis on the need to democratize African states. Most African states have at one time or the other established democratic rule which has either been sustained or reversed to the initial military dictatorship or one party rule. The fact however, remains that democracy is one concept which African states requires in fostering socio-economic and political development in the region. The contribution of the African Union to the democratization process in Africa cannot be under estimated as the organization has contributed in one way or the other to the establishment of democratic rule in some African states. While the organization has achieved a considerable level of success, it continues to face challenges. This paper shall examine the efforts of the African Union in driving the democratization process on the continent, identifying areas of success and challenges. Drawing basically from secondary sources, the paper shall adopt the historical and the descriptive method of analysis. It has been demonstrated that efforts at fostering democracy in Africa need to go beyond holding periodic elections and establishing democratic institutions. Aside these, it also has to do with imbibing democratic cultures and values which should govern electoral competition based on representation, inclusiveness, accountability and total abhorrence for military rule in order to prevent democratic reversal and the re-institutionalization of autocratic rule.