With populist tide on rise around the world, scholars fear that the cohesion of some of the world’s oldest political units is being challenged by forces of division. On top of that, unprecedented moves like Brexit and the advance of nationalist parties in France have casted their shadows on the future of the European Union (EU). This looks to be setting a bad precedent for organizations like the African Union, which are far behind on the integration scale in comparison to the EU.
Against the tide, the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State and Government was held in Addis Ababa last week. And true to form, the summit has taken historic steps to solidify the continental bloc. In fact, the AU has gained a new member—Morocco—becoming the 55th African nation to become a member of the AU. To be fair, the Moroccans are not completely new to the AU but that they have rejoined an organization which they left 32 years ago in protest to the recognition of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). King Mohammed VI hailed his country’s return to the continental bloc with a landmark pronouncement, “I am finally home”, and surprised the assembly by refraining to mention the case of SADR, the reason Morocco left in the first place.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, former foreign minister of Chad, also took the helm of the AU Commission after a fierce battle with five other candidates which included the Kenyan Foreign Minister, Amina Mohammed. Another important development was a reform proposal presented by Paul Kagame, pictured above conversing with newly elected UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, a man who has a lot to do to preserve the sanity of the biggest intergovernmental organization—the UN.