Africa peace and security architecture: reflections on over a decade of promoting peace and security in Africa
The Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) was established by the African Union (AU) in 2002 to promote the AU’s fundamental principles on peace, security and stability in Africa. The APSA was further established to guard the behaviour of Member States in conformity to these principles and norms. The APSA is the operational structure for the effective implementation of decisions taken on conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace support operations, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Its mandate reflected the shift from state-centric security to human security, which is widely accepted at the continental level. The APSA through its Peace and Security Council has, since its inception, dealt with issues relating to human development, promoted democratic practices, good governance and respect for human rights, humanitarian action and the management of disasters. This paper reflects on the performance of the APSA in order to establish whether it has made any difference in the area of peace and security in Africa since its inception. The paper found that the APSA has been unable to uniformly apply its rules to shape the behaviour of Member States. This has greatly disadvantaged the Architecture in terms of its credibility with Members as an impartial arbiter. Despite this negative, great strides have been made by the APSA in delivering on its mandate to promote peace, security and stability in Africa.