African Union, Rule of Law, Human Rights, Democratic Governance, and Economic Integration: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects

Convener: Prof. André Mbata B. Mangu (University of South Africa, Pretoria/Tshwane);

Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) met in 1999 and resolved to replace it with the African Union (AU) in order to accelerate the achievement of the continental objectives based on the pan-African ideal. The rule of law and democratic governance were identified by the AU as a requirement for an African renaissance decades after “dictatorships of development”, which were sponsored by Western countries and financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank had failed to put Africa on the road to development. Accordingly, they feature predominantly in the AU Constitutive Act and many other AU instruments. This failure of “dictatorships” of development contributed to the wind of change that blew across the continent in the 1990s and to the “Spring of Africa” which transformed two decades later in the “Arab Spring”. In May 2013, 50 years will have elapsed since the creation of the OAU and African leaders have resolved to celebrate this historic event till May 2014. This is expected to be an opportunity for Africans take stock and reflect on the road that Africa has travelled thus far, the challenges and the prospects for an African renaissance, which cannot be achieved without development, peace, democracy, good governance, economic integration, and respect for the rule of law and human rights on the continent. It is worth stressing that the AU Constitutive came into force in May 2001 Act.
Accordingly, the 13th International Conference of Africanists in May 2014 will also coincide with the 13th anniversary of the AU. Africanists meeting during this conference to reflect on “Society and Politics in Africa: Traditional, Transitional, and New” cannot afford to ignore the legal, political, economic and social developments that have occurred in Africa since independence, especially since the creation of the AU. Papers to be read in this panel will need to address the following issues:
- Pan-Africanism, African renaissance, Democracy and the rule of law: Past, Present, and Future
- OAU and the promotion of Constitutionalism and Democracy;
- Rule of Law, Democracy, Elections and Human Rights in Africa;
- Separation of powers, decentralisation, federalism and the judiciary;
- The judiciary and the promotion of the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights in

- AU and the promotion of the rule of law, democratic governance, free and fair elections;
- AU and Conflicts Settlement in Africa;
- New Partnership for Africa’s Development, African Peer-Review Mechanism, and Good
Governance in Africa;
- Rule of Law and Fight against Corruption in Africa: a Comparative Perspective;
- The past, present and the future of constitutionalism and democracy in Africa;
- Russian, American, European Union, and Chinese African Policies and the Promotion of the
Rule of Law and Democratic Governance in Africa;
- AU, Globalisation, BRICS, Development, and Economic Integration in Africa;
- The international community and the promotion of the rule of law and democratic governance in Africa.