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The Horn of Africa States the Upcoming African Union Summit

February 14, 2023

By Dr. Suleiman Walhad
February 14th, 2023

The 36th Summit of the African Union will open in its headquarters in Addis Ababa from February 18th to February 19th, 2023, a continuation of its general annual recontre. It would definitely be a long and difficult process for they would address the long list of topics they always discuss, a common feature of all African Union meetings. There will, of course, be beautiful discourses, in the form of well-mannered speeches to be made by the leaders of the continent, and as usual lamenting on the state of affairs of the continent and what they believe should be done about it. They would be colored by the colorful dresses they usually wear to this type of gatherings and the Summit will usually end with no results to be repeated again the following year. It is a beautiful gathering that gathers for nothing and achieves nothing. And do we know this!

We know the DR Congo crisis is still going on for past seventy years and now Somalia has joined those unsolvable problems of the continent. It is now in its thirty third year and they did nothing about it. And South Sudan and the Mali and the Western Sahara and the Niger and Burkina Faso and the …. And the…. And the list continues.

We know the Summit would open with an inaugural speech by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chadian, and he would present beautifully, of course, the main theme of the meet – Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development. When has the AU silenced any guns in Africa? The Boko Haram has guns and they are still blazing, and the Shabaab have guns and they are similarly blazing, and the Maghreb Al Qaida has guns, and they are still maiming children and old people, and the African Union was not able to handle or silence these guns. What magic do they now come up with that would silence all these guns, and the others in the continent? In Somalia they refuse to allow the government to acquire its own weaponry to fight off the foreign-managed and foreign armed Shabaab terror group that has played havoc in the land for the past decade and a half, after the warlords and their backers  did what they did to the country.

But Somalia is not alone in this predicament. The DR Congo is no different, or South Sudan and Mali and the other hotspots of the continent. It would appear that the AU is as good as an enabler, much like the forces that are behind the instability of the continent, to steal off its assets – its natural resources. And Monsieur Mahamat would not mention the audit report of 2021, which found nepotism, recruitment, and contract anomalies and other corruption crimes. The Audit carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, was tasked to investigate possible wrongdoings in the organization, and confirmed allegations of all the aforenoted crimes and more.

It is known that the challenges in front of the African Union remain interminable and unaddressed. There are some fifty-five members of the organization, but many have not even ratified some of its protocols. Its legislative, judicial, and technical organs remain weak. The AU parliament, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council still remain consultative bodies, much like the organs of those of IGAD and have no powers, while the AU court of Justice is just ratified by 32 members only and only eight accept complaints of citizens.

We know the Somali crisis is still a hotspot and the Somali governance system remains unable to control the total territory. The Darfur issue also remains unsettled while the South Sudan political dilemma remains as troublesome as it was for years. Perhaps, one would mention the TPLF issue of Ethiopia, which now seems to have become the only sore spot which joined the AU plate of problems, but which seems to be on the way to be resolved. The DR Congo remains still as bad as it was many years ago with stiff opposition to the current government and the support of some AU member states of the opposition still going on.

The AU will definitely talk of achievements, of course on paper and talk only, but nothing really tangible and it would remain to be financed by non-African resources, perhaps from Europe and other parts. The member countries do not include a certain budget for the running of the organization in their national budgets and hence, the organization’s motives and actions would always remain tainted, for it would protect the interests of those who finance it.

The continent would continue its lethargic and slow survival march as it has done for millennia, and of course they would meet again one year after to discuss the same problems as they have been discussing over the past twenty years or more. I wonder why they spend so much energy and fanfare going to these presidential/prime ministerial, and regal meetings, if they cannot truly carry out the decisions, solutions, and the promises they make.

It is an irony that the African continent remains todate the richest in natural resources and the most endowed, but it remains the poorest continent in the world. Poverty is almost equated with Africa. But then we must be patient as we were always patient and wait another year to see if they have achieved anything in what they would claim they would do. We shall see if they have progressed or regressed!


Dr. Suleiman Walhad writes on the Horn of Africa economies and politics. He can be reached at suleimanwalhad@yahoo.com

An independent global policy and research think tank institute, which aims to promote and create an integrated Horn of Africa States consisting of its four members of the SEED countries, an acronym for Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, through cutting edge engagement with universities,, public and private enterprises, civil societies, governments and institutes and providing constructive platforms, literature and presentations to persuade the people of the Horn of Africa States towards the path of lasting peace and prosperity and unity in diversity.


  1. Dear Brother Suleiman,

    You need to be heard and your well written articles must be read by more and more members of the HOA Diaspora. Have you tried other website also? I profusely commend the over qualified editors of this website for posting your articles. I think you need more exposure. Blessings to you and your family!

  2. Subject: QUOTE: “The 36th Summit of the African Union will open in its headquarters in Addis Ababa from February 18th to February 19th, 2023, a continuation of its general annual recontre.” UNQUOTE

    Honest Question.
    PLEASE DO NOT consider it as a RUDE QUESTION.
    When was our AFRICAN UNION became very EFFECTIVE in the DEVELOPMENT of Africa for the benefit of Africans???? I repeat: What did the thirty-six years (36) of summits of the African Union establish something for the glaring benefit of the AFRICAN PEOPLE. When and What!?!?!?!?
    If NONE, would we be daring to be frank and reveal the reality of our African situation?

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