Civil society and the African Union: A critical analysis of the policy contributions of civil society and its interactions with the African Union commission (2002-2015).
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This thesis analyzes the policy contributions and interactions of civil society organizations with the African Union (AU). The aim of this study is to get an understanding of the framework, methods and mechanisms used by the African Union to create space for civil society organizations within its policy deliberations and programmes as it seeks to transform itself from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) image of a ‗club of politicians‘ to a people-centred and driven regional organization. The thesis also examines to what extent the AU since its establishment in 2002, has been able to increase the inclusion and participation of civil society organizations within its activities as a way of addressing some of the OAU ‗democratic deficits‘. The thesis also covers some of the challenges surrounding the promotion of active citizens‘ participation in the affairs of the African Union. It also offers an insight into the process of how African leaders seek to bring citizens closer to the AU through engagement with its different institutions and structures. The thesis also examines the capacity and organization of African civil society organizations (CSOs) to engage the AU. In so doing, it addresses the issues of CSO relevance, the impact and contributions to both the AU and its member states. The thesis notes that there are areas of conflict and areas of consensus in the engagement, draws lessons from previous episodes and gives recommendations for improving the engagement. Briefly, the findings raise fundamental questions for further broader empirical research as regards the philosophical underpinnings of AU/CSO collaborations. More importantly, the thesis raises the question of whether the interactions are a marriage of convenience or genuine development partnerships for a better and more prosperous Africa.
Additional Citation InformationMutasa, C. (2017). Civil society and the African Union: A critical analysis of the policy contributions of civil society and its interactions with the African Union commission (2002-2015). [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe