This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity/African Union (AU). Its latest initiative, the African Union Agenda 2063, focuses on how the continent should, over the next 50 years, create solutions, strategically seize opportunities and confront key challenges in order to become an integrated, competitive, peaceful continent and a dynamic force in the global community. Two recent reports by the African Union, “The African Union at 50” and the annual “Invest in Africa 2013: A Strong United Continent” look at the past and future of the African Union and the region.
On July 30, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings and the African Union Mission to the U.S. co-hosted a discussion on the next 50 years of the African Union. Ambassador of the African Union to the United States Amina Salum Ali discussed this important reflection and debate on the priorities for Africa and its goal of becoming a global driver of growth in the next few decades. A panel discussion followed, including Marcelo Giugale, director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa at the World Bank, Gregory Simpkins, professional staff member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, and Alan Spence, founder and chief executive of NewsDesk Media. Brookings Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative, moderated the discussion.