Twenty-five years of Pan-African democratic governance diplomacy

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    While there has been growing analysis of Pan-Africa agency on the international stage, there has been less consideration given to the interactions between states on the continent and how these engagements have been central in the development of Africa’s governance architecture, and are key to their ongoing implementation. In this article, which adopts a source-based, textual and analytical approach, the analysis assesses the role of inter-continental agency and the development of a “new” Afrocontinentalism, a modernistic Pan-Africanism, which has increasingly come to the fore. This “new” Afro-continentalism is marked by a governance policy revolution negotiated in Africa, articulating new norms, principles, values, mechanisms and structures, which are fundamentally different from the ones that prevailed during the era of liberation. It is different, because continental leaders are breaking with the paradigm of “non-interference” in each other’s affairs, and are embracing new values and norms, which had started by the end of the Cold War and accelerated in 1999 with the OAU’s summit in Sirte, Libya. This approach places issues of development, governance, democratisation, economic growth and peace and security firmly on the continental agenda. The analysis concludes that, while there has been some progress in inter-African diplomacy in negotiating the new post-Cold War governance frameworks, there remain challenges in their implementation and operationalization, with questions on whether African states show enough inter-continental agency and ownership to appropriate the new agenda.