Kings Park Stadium in Durban, July 9, 2002. For what is both the last summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the first of the African Union (AU), the Heads of State of the continent se are displaced in numbers amidst a concert of vuvuzelas, military music and Zulu dances. At the podium, flanked by amazons in fatigues, Muammar Gaddafi reminds his peers that the idea of replacing a breathless organization with a pragmatic union, intended to prepare this “United States of Africa” which he calls of his wishes, is his by right. Didn’t he launch it in Sirte, three years earlier? “We accept those who want to help us, but we we don’t want those who want to impose their conditions on us,” he adds, before concluding with one of his favorite slogans: “African land for Africans! »
Wade, Mbeki, Mugabe, Mubarak, Dos Santos, Kabila, Gbagbo, Déby, Bongo, El-Béchir, Zenawi… Like the Libyan “Guide”, many of the leaders present that day have since left the front of the scene, taking with them the promises of dawn.
Indeed, twenty years later, the AU, which, in the words of a report by its Commission published three years ago, “has continued to imitate the European Union in terms of institutional structure and trajectory of integration”, is far from reaching the performance of its model – which is not necessarily the most adapted to the continent.
From non-interference in the non-indifference