The African Union is still heavily dependent on foreigners for funding. Yet this is the organization that should be working tirelessly for the complete liberation of African people from the clutches of imperialism. How can this AU push its agenda in the global arena?

In 1963, founding fathers of newly-independent African states met in Addis-Ababa and founded the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). In 2002, the OAU was renamed the African Union (AU). The AU was formed with a vision of establishing an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. But is this so?

The AU has worked towards achieving some of its objectives (on paper). It has, however, mainly been a platform for African leaders to rile at the imperialistic West for meddling in their affairs and driving an agenda that is not in the best interests of Africa. Question is, do those African leaders themselves have the best interests of Africans at heart? African leaders meet at AU summits to give fiery speeches followed by spells of ‘doing-nothing-ism’*.

Simply put, the AU has the bark of a bulldog, and the bite of a poodle. This is because it’s yet to become independent financially – and ultimately, politically.

For a long time, Libya under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi heavily bankrolled the AU. Libya provided 15 per cent of AU’s membership revenue and paid entire dues for many African nations from its vast oil wealth. That is before the colonel was ousted. Six countries – South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – currently contribute about 65% of the AU’s membership revenue.

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