This paper explores the dynamics surrounding the executive leadership of the African Union (AU) with a specific focus on the role of the African Union Commission (AUC) and its Chairperson. It addresses the challenges and opportunities the leadership of the Commission are faced with. Among other things, the paper concludes that the African integration agenda would not be easily realised if the role, mandate and leadership of the Commission are not reconfigured. In other words, there are both structural and normative changes that are required in order to position the AUC as the nerve-centre of the continental integration agenda.
In addition to the normative and structural/institutional challenges identified in the paper, the leadership of the AUC is also hamstrung by the failure of member states to fund its activities and programs. The heavy reliance on donor support undermines the principle of ownership and the ability of the leadership of the Commission to execute their mandate, even in its limited form, without hindrance.
The paper concludes with a number of concrete recommendations to resolve the problems and challenges that frustrate the AUC. The recommendations also highlight a number of opportunities that could be maximised for the Commission to effectively achieve some of the core objectives and key priorities of the Union.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.