The African Union (AU) is the successor of the Organization of African Union (OAU) which was founded on May 25, 1963 for the promotion of the Pan African agenda. The OAU successfully campaigned for and aided in the independence of Africans who were living under the brutality of colonialism.
The African Union is a quasi-African entity because its members are African however; the headquarters building in Addis Ababa was constructed and paid for the Chinese for a whopping $200MM as a ‘gift’ to the African people. This was the gift that has kept on giving for the Chinese people. About 1,200 Chinese workers were employed on the construction project. It is also worth noting that in the year 2000, trade between Africa and China was $10BN but by 2014 it had grown to $220BN.
It is also interesting to note that 50% of the budget of the African Union is financed by China, the European Union (EU) and America. This is the reason that Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and the Paul Kagame could not condemn Donald Trump’s white supremacist statement when he stated that African countries are composed of human waste.
Paul Kagame has been on a crusade to rid the African Union of aid dependency where he has proposed that member states levy 0.2% of their eligible imports to fund the African Union in order to have some sort of independence in decision making. This has been a tall order for most countries which are used to begging Europeans or Chinese or Americans to finance their budgets while they siphon money into their personal bank accounts.
The idea of the African Union was conceived in 1999 and was supposed to expedite economic and political cooperation across Africa. It seems like most things that African did under colonialism or in the post-colonial era that it was mean to be modeled after the European Union. Today, this seems foolish given that there is talk of Brexit, secession by Catalonia and the more immediate problem of PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece & Spain) going broke. Many of the PIGS are unable to service their debts because they lied in order to be admitted in to the European Union.
Between 2009 and 2010, 66% of the AU budget was financed by only five countries; Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, and Algeria and South Africa despite having 54 members. The inability of the AU to self-fund has led to the old adage that he who owns the gold makes the rules. It is China’s house and therefore China’s agenda. Other important Pan-African issues are forced to take a back seat.