The then Organization for African Unity (OAU), was noted to have faced several challenges right from the inception to the post--colonial Africa period. This problems was under pinned on poor leadership, the evil of one party state system, economic poverty, instability, cyclical dependency, lack of infrastructure, high illiteracy rate and poverty of development among others. To compound the OAU efforts for stability many states were engulfed with internal crisis that was to some extent internationalized. With these heavy burden, confused, aimless and over stressed, the OAU was generally seen as a toothless bulldog that can only bark without biting. A helper that cannot help itself and so on. With poor diplomacy in the face of several failed states, the clarion call for a change was adopted in 2002 at Harare, Zimbabwe, to go from OAU to African Union (AU). H was this long awaited search for political reality that seem to have created relative peace in the continent in recent time.

The study in evaluating the above noted problems adopts the use of primary and secondary data. The primary data uses of oral face-to-face interview with content analysis.  Also employed were Secondary data, which include the use of archival library method, internet browsing, materials from journals, CD ROM and materials necessary to form a good value judgment of the work. The instruments used are in-depth interview approach using content analysis and descriptive methods that was enhanced by interpretative concept.

The finding of the research informed that most of the Nationalist who collected power from the colonial masters misused it. It also noted that the forming of one party state was a bad political scheming by the then Nationalist. The work noted that the then OAU suffered a terrible blows because of the division and separated interest within the body. The study observed that the consistent cries bedeviling the content was partly due to poverty and betrayal of trust among the leaders. The work revealed that it was due to the persisting stigma and alienations of the African citizens outside that made the cry for a change possible.

The coming of African Union (AU) at a time of complete need for change seem to have created a new hope if only every African citizenry will join hand to make the continent a home for all as African problems can only be tackle by the Africans alone. The rejuvenation of African States diplomacy is welcomed act if it is done in a genuine manner to accommodate all interest.

KEY WORDS: Political Reality, African Union, One Party State, Instability, Poor Leadership, Crisis.



Title Page                                                                                                                              i

Certification                                                                                                                         ii

Dedication                                                                                                                            iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                            IV

Table of Content                                                                                                          v-vi

Abstract                                                                                                                                vii



1.1 Background of Study                                                                                                 1

1.2 Statement of problem                                                                                               3

1.3 Objective of Study                                                                                                      3

1.4 Significance of Study                                                                                     4

1.5 Methodology                                                                                                               5

1.6 Scope of Study                                                                                                            5

1.7 Limitation of Study                                                                                                     6

1.8 Definition of Research Terms                                                                                  6



2. 1. The general perception towards OAU existence.                                            8

2.2.The contemporary need for African Rebirth (AU)                                            13

2.3 The Historical Overview and the Activities of OAU since Inception.            16

2.4 The Hiccups in OAU Diplomacy of Successes and Shortfalls.             19



3.1      The Failed OAU Diplomacy and the Emergent of New African Union:

An Analysis.                                                                                                 25

3.2      The Evaluation of African Union and its Practical Reality Agenda.           32



4.1      The General Implications of African States Continuity Under OAU

Agenda                                                                                                                      37

4.2      The General Appraisal of the New AU Initiatives                                          42




5.1      Summary of Findings                                                                                            51

5.2      Recommendation and Conclusion                                                                    54

Bibliography                                                                                                            58









Following the golden era of the African civilization when empires and kingdoms flourished in different parts of the continents, Africa was subjected to a succession of misfortunes.

According to Brownson (1998:34) the devastation of slavery and colonialism rendered the continent virtually prostrate and a victim of all sorts of vicissitudes such as partitioning and dismemberment, ethnic conflicts and wars, famine and poverty, epidemics and human sufferings as well as destabilization and decimation of the populations among other woes (Abia, 2006: 17).

To revive itself, Africa have to embark on a tortuous and prolonged search for self-identity. The process that did not gather momentum until few educated citizens were sensitized by a handful of Pan-Africanist whose voices took relatively long time to be heard and heeded. The turning point was the era of political independence of some African states, spear headed by Ghana in 1959. Thereafter, some concrete steps were taken towards the African Renaissance when in 1963 the Organization of African Unity (OAU) subscribed by 32 member states was established.

With the establishment of OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1963, Africans were optimistic that this organization will achieve full liberation of the continent from economic, social and political problems. But, even with some level of success, its ineptitude has dashed the hopes and aspirations of every African at home and in Diaspora. Hence, efforts are made at redirecting African political leadership, economic policies as well as other social factors for accelerated development of the continents and its people at all levels through African union (Brownson, 1998:35).

However, the organization of African unity is both the symbol and embodiment of Old-Age Pan-African yearning that found remarkable expression in the 19th Century epic of scattered African Communities; A movement for self-assertion in its early days. Pan-Africanism evolved progressively into an organized force with cultural and political concerns especially after World War II when it took on a continental dimension. From the first Pan-African gathering in Manchester (united kingdom) in 1900 to the historic conference of 32 independent African States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1963. Numerous attempts were made at galvanizing African aspiration for freedom, equality, justice and progress.

Many historians and political scientists have rightly Stated that Pan-Africanism is the gift of people African descent in the new world (the Americans and the Caribbean) to African and old world (the continent of Africa) for if it is to the intellectuals and political activities in North America and Caribbean, particularly DR W.E.B Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Edward Blyden, and Henry Sylvester Williams, that we owe the crusade not only for the earliest stirrings in what eventually became the Civil Rights Movements but also the vision of an independent African united by pride in blackness and determination at the very least to the fight against racial discrimination, injustice and economic exploitation.



In view of the background to the study, the following are some of the raised problems of the work:

i.                   What are the responsibilities and failed duties of OAU that led to its demise in 2002?

ii.                Why are African states bedeviled by political instability?



The following are the research objective of study:

i.                   To explain the various reasons and lapses that allowed for the demise of the OAU.

ii.                To explain the problems associated to African political instability and poverty of development.

iii.           To accentuate if there are possible solutions to the African lingered crises with possible changes.



This work is significant for various reasons.

First, the like hood of what happen to OAU repeating itself under the present structure in future must be addressed. The issue of continent and continuous crisis in African politics and government deserves a thorough review within the context of different forms and kinds of diplomacy in practice. The thorough examination of the place of diplomacy towards solving the cases of instability will not only help in creating new grounds for conflict management but also enhance the quality of governance in the contemporary era.

Secondly, the search for a political reality by the African people away from the old order of OAU into the new AU idea of tacking African problem makes the continent to see African problem as that that can only be solved by the African alone. For if the root causes of several instabilities in the continent are nipped on the bud peace at the different regions will be considerably assumed.

Thirdly, against the background of the importance of, this study, it is significant to note that due to the levity in treatment of past African states' political problem leading to wars, genocide and ethnic cleansing among others, that this work is of the view that early warning to African crisis must be taken serious with adequate diplomacy.

Fourthly, the work tends to contribute to knowledge by closing the gaps in literature on the issues of preventive measures to conflicts and instability with the abridgement of the diplomatic policy lapses inherent in the former OAU/new AU interventions mechanism.

Finally, it will not only extend frontier of knowledge but contribute immensely to enhance the existed literatures.



The work adopts both primary and secondary data. The primary data relied on in-depth interview method of oral face to face interview. A key information groups were members of international relations, international law scholars, OAU / AU Staff at Abuja, members of Nigerian foreign affairs and journalist.

The instrument employed was in-depth interview method.

In the secondary data, a material adequate to give good value judgment of the work was elicited from archival library, CD ROM, internet browsing and documentary news. The work in its analysis utilized descriptive and analytical approach.



This study covers the period 1965 to 2002. In the focus of study, the work gives consideration on the origin, achievement and shortcomings which lead to the formation of African Union.



This study is considerably constraint by several factors which fall as limitation to the successful completion of the work.

Amongst this constraints are academic stress and distance between the research and the supervisor. The problem of logistics which tend to hamper the zeal of the work. The researcher also encounter problem of poor finance that could have been used to aid the sourcing of materials. More so, our library lacks the presence of most recent books or journals in the topic under study.

On the interview that was conducted on the topic, most scholars or interviewee where not keen at stating the categorical problem of OAU, while some were not ready to give in the needed information of the crisis bedeviling Africa (OAU) that led to the birth of African Union.

All these however, fall as great limitation to the desire of the study, to which the work despite all odds were able to sub mount.



The following concepts which occur consistently in the body of this work are the research definition of terms.


ORGANIZATlON OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU): This is the organization body that unites African States since May 1963. It is only the African States that are allowed to belong, it tackle Africa problems on political, Social Economic and security spheres. It is the old organization that was changed in July, 2002.


AFRICAN UNION (AU): This is vibrant African organization that emerged after the demise of OAU, it is very critical in tackling African problems with a lot of determinism.


INSTABILITY: This is the act of crisis, war, unheard and destruction in Africa. It is an unhealthy manner of interaction that had kept the continent divided without peace. The unstableness of the continent had denial the people most development and peace.


LEADERSHIP PROBLEM: This is unhealthy manner caused by illegal selection or election of leaders. It is very destructive and keep the continent divided/ society divided, thereby leading to leadership crisis.


INTERFERENCE: This is the act of been involved or participating in seeing to ending crisis within a state. To interfere is to asking question about the reason for crisis or instability.


SOVEREIGNTY: The rights of an independence State to own itself control it and tackle its own problem without any interference or involvement of other states that enjoy the same sovereignty.


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