At the table or on the menu? Africa’s agency and the global order

Image: Getty, aluxum
Image: Getty, aluxum

Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, one could argue that the global order is fragmenting into multiple nodes of power.

Key findings:

  • Multilateralism is increasingly becoming ineffective in solving the world’s problems, as countries such as the United States become more self-serving and selective in how they engage with global institutions.
  • Africa could be largely described as ‘a resilient but marginal player’ in the international system.
  • Key challenges African countries face in the General Assembly and UN Security Council relate to their ability to vote as a coherent group.
  • Trends in demographics and migration, as well as trade and economic growth, are key challenges but also opportunities for the continent to increase its agency in the changing global order.
  • Geostrategic divides lead to paralysis in the United Nations (UN) Security Council, creating difficulties in achieving common positions and approaches, particularly among its African members.
  • African Union (AU) responses to peace and security challenges on the continent are increasingly being institutionalised. However, the AU continues to face dire challenges and dysfunctionality, including in the areas of funding, the adoption of common positions and logistics.