Africa has for a long time been embattled by differing acts of terrorism, with divergent
manifestations such as suicide bombing, killings and hijacking. Accordingly, the
Organisation of African Unity and subsequently the African Union took up the
responsibility of developing strategies to counter the menacing trend of terrorism on
the continent. To this end, several counter terrorism interventions were created. The
first of Africa's interventions was developed as early as 1992, when the Organisation of
African Unity (OAU) member states adopted a Resolution to strengthen cooperation
and coordination among African states against different manifestations of extremism.
Although, there is abundance of scholarly literature on the subject of understanding of
terrorism and its human rights implications and also on the impact of terrorism on
political pluralism, there is a dearth of scholarly writings on the activities of the African
Union in relation to terrorism in Africa, particularly on whether the Union is
responding positively to its counter terrorism agenda. Yet, the role of the African Union
in this regard on the continent cannot be over emphasised. This study is therefore carried out to scrutinise the counter terrorism agenda of the African Union and explore
its counter terrorism activities from inception till date.
In ascertaining the necessity for the African Union to develop ways to adequately
implement its counter terrorism agenda, the study carries out an assessment of the
agenda and established its link with the United Nations counter terrorism framework.
Recommendations about how best the agenda can be realised concludes the study.
Specifically, the research explores the activities of the African Union with the aim of
determining whether the agenda was merely paved with good intentions.
While many weaknesses of the agenda were discovered and discussed in depth, the
research concludes, that despite the gap that exists between the agenda and its
implementation and the problem of resources bedevilling the implementation of the
agenda, it will be unfair to describe the African Union counter terrorism agenda as
merely paved with good intentions in the lights of numerous positive steps that have
been taken towards translating the agenda into full implementation.