50 Years of Democratisation in Africa
The 19th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2012 selected the theme for 2013 as Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. The Assembly adopted Assembly/AU/Dec.422 (XIX) Decision that implored the “AU Commission, in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Government to work together with all the Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as
other AU Organs to organize various activities, including media events, debates and competitions in schools and universities, public opinion surveys, sessions in local and national legislatures and other activities to celebrate the year of Pan-Africanism and Renaissance so as to enhance awareness of the new generation of Africans about the ideals of Pan-Africanism”. This decision
emanates from the recognition that this year marks 50 years since
the OAU was formed on 25 May 1963 and officially launched in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 20th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2013 further urged the Commission to expedite preparations for the 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU including a special celebration Summit of Heads of State and Government slated for 25 May 2013 in Addis Ababa. It is also important to note that the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of OAU coincides with the ten years of
the transformation of the OAU into the AU. The occasion marks a decade since the formation of the AU, which seeks to promote “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”. The celebrations are planned for one year spanning 25 May 2013 to 25 May 2014. They will all evolve around the theme “Pan-Africanism
and African Renaissance” consistent with the decision of the 19th Summit of the AU Assembly as highlighted above. How has Pan- Africanism and African Renaissance propelled democratization in Africa? This is the question that this article addresses.