African Peacekeeping and African Integration: Current Challenges

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Abstract

Peacekeeping and economic union are the two most important dimensions of African integration. The first section of this article aims to analyse some current challenges to African peacekeeping, peacemaking, and African integration. The continuing Libyan civil war epitomizes the diplomatic stalemates and military stalemates which form the limits of current African peacekeeping. It exposes the North African Regional Capability and North African Standby Brigade as paper structures which do not exist operationally, and so limit the capacity of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council. The military intervention of states outside Africa can polarize conflicts and escalate civil wars. Africa’s colonial epoch serves as a warning of the potential dangers of foreign military bases in Africa. In parts of West Africa, states sub-contract peacemaking and anti-terrorist operations to unsupervised local militias, which are lawless at best, and commit ethnic killings at worst. African integration fares better in the economic dimension. The second section analyses African integration, with its focus on the most recent step of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which starts to lay the cornerstone envisaged four decades ago in the Lagos Plan of Action, and three decades ago in the Abuja Treaty for an African Economic Community. The historic track record of African continental organizations indicates that a decade will be a realistic minimum period for it to be substantially implemented. The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System will help operationalize the AfCFTA by lowering forex currency transaction charges. Severe difficulties can be predicted for future attempts to upgrade the AfCFTA into a continental customs union, and ultimately into a continental common market.

About the authors

Keith Gottschalk

University of the Western Cape

Email: kgottschalk@uwc.ac.za
Political Scientist, Member (retired), the Political Studies Department Bellville, the Republic of South Africa

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Copyright (c) 2020 Gottschalk K.

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