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African Union approaches to peacebuilding: Efforts at shifting the continent towards decolonial peace

Siphamandla Zondi


This article argues that the African Union (AU) approach to peacebuilding, out of Africa’s historical experience and lessons from the United Nations (UN), is comprehensive and holistic, but requires the existence of a legitimate government, a functional society and domestic parties for dialogue to begin. Without these conditions, the approach leads to extended peace enforcement rather than peacebuilding. Yet, whatever the conditions that prevail, peacebuilding in Africa has experienced limited success due to the failure to fundamentally transform the inherited post-colonial state, society and politics. The neo-colonial conditions helped to stall the achievement of lasting peace. The African experience with peacebuilding demonstrates a need for a more fundamental peace than is internationally the norm – a peace paradigm that hinges on the continued decolonisation of the African state and society in order to give rise to what may be called a decolonial peace.

Keywords: peacebuilding, AU, OAU, decolonial peace, reconstruction, UN