How can AU “Silencing the Guns” agenda respond to state failure to curb violence?

What you need to know:

  • Promising as and noble the AU grand schemes are, this does not assuage African citizens’ scepticism around the ability of the AU to deliver on its promises and has left observers wondering whether the citizens’ expectations have been raised to levels that might lead to more disappointments than to fulfilment of these promises.
  • Unless citizens can empower themselves through civic coalitions to demand that national governments locally implement what they have promised at the continental level, how do AU policies genuinely become part of each member state’s national programs?
  • On the whole, the most prominent stories that come up in these countries are about how guns have ruined lives, even as so many people continue to illicitly acquire them.
  • How does the AU tackle gun violence in coordination with a national government of a member state?

As the African Union 33rd ordinary session of the assembly gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 9-10 and elected Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, as chair of the AU, he took the reigns of the continental body at a moment the organisation has promised grand schemes as part of its agenda of service to the continent’s citizens. Will Mr Ramaphosa’s South African continental economic and military high profile inject new and practical fervour into the ability of the AU to translate its policies into meaningful action plans that touch African citizens’ lives?

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