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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Organization of African Unity: an appraisal
Author:Chanda, Alfred W.ISNI
Periodical:Zambia Law Journal
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
African organizations
Organization of African Unity
human rights
political science
Abstract:The OAU celebrated its 33rd anniversary on 25 May 1995 amidst concern over its future and scepticism about whether, as presently constituted, the organization is relevant to the needs of the continent. The author of the present article examines the origins, institutional structure and functions of the OAU. In particular, he focusses on the role of the OAU in the pacific settlement of disputes arising among its members; in the liberation of the African continent from colonial rule and its efforts to eradicate apartheid in South Africa; in the protection of human rights in Africa; and in the economic development of the continent. He concludes that a number of factors have affected the effectiveness of the OAU as a regional organization. First, the Assembly of Heads of State has no executive authority over member States and its resolutions and those of the Council of Ministers have no binding legal effect. Second, the principle of sovereignty and noninterference in the affairs of member States, enshrined in the OAU Charter, reduces the ability of the organization to deal effectively with domestic conflicts and human rights abuses in member States. Third, the OAU faces serious budgetary problems. Fourth, the frequent unconstitutional changes of government in many OAU member States undermines the international credibility of the organization and robs it of moral force. Notes, ref.