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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ROLE OF CAMEROON IN AFRICAN UNION POLITICS

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ROLE OF CAMEROON  IN AFRICAN UNION POLITICS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

The African Union (AU) plays a crucial role in the process of achieving unity, peace, and prosperity throughout the African continent. The African Union (AU), which was founded in 2001 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), signifies a revitalised dedication to collaboratively tackling the difficulties faced by Africa (Sibizo, 2022). Member states have specific responsibilities in determining the policies, decision-making procedures, and general direction of the AU within this framework. Cameroon, as a member state, has considerable geopolitical and strategic significance, both in the past and in the present (Nkongho, 2020). Cameroon, situated in the region of Central Africa, has a multifaceted cultural milieu, linguistic diversity, and a profound historical fabric. Cameroon has played a significant role in regional and continental politics since achieving independence from colonial domination in the mid-20th century. Cameroon's involvement in AU politics is crucial for comprehending the internal workings of the organisation, given its status as one of the original members of the AU (Tazoacha & Tametong, 2021).

Cameroon is a member state of the African Union and actively engages in many departments and entities within the organisation. In order to promote its interests and contribute to pan-African initiatives, the political leadership of the nation, including its presidents and diplomats, actively participates in AU summits, assemblies, and specialised committees (Akech, 2020). The political dynamics of Cameroon, including its internal policies, regional alliances, and diplomatic engagements, connect with the politics of the African Union (AU), hence exerting influence on decision-making processes and results. The involvement of Cameroon within the African Union is significantly influenced by its socio-economic characteristics (Apuuli, 2021). Cameroon, being an economy characterised by a wide range of sectors such as agriculture, energy, and industry, actively participates in African Union (AU) deliberations pertaining to economic growth, trade, and investment. Furthermore, Cameroon's objectives within the AU are influenced by socio-economic concerns, including poverty, inequality, and infrastructural shortages. These challenges motivate Cameroon to advocate for policies and programmes that try to tackle these issues on a continent-wide scale. The regional and international ties of Cameroon also have an impact on its status within the African Union (Arthur, 2017). The nation preserves diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and international powers, cultivating alliances that influence its involvement within the African Union. The participation of Cameroon in regional organisations such as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and international forums like the United Nations (UN) influences its position on subjects related to the African Union (AU), hence reflecting wider geopolitical dynamics and interests. Cameroon has a multitude of concerns and obstacles in its capacity as a member state of the African Union, notwithstanding the valuable contributions it has made. Cameroon's adherence to AU ideals of democracy, human rights, and good governance is called into doubt by internal disputes, notably as the crisis in the Anglophone regions (Bokeriya, 2022). Furthermore, the efficacy of Cameroon in defining AU policies and programmes is hindered by socio-economic restrictions, institutional shortcomings, and external influences. The involvement of Cameroon in African Union politics encompasses several facets, such as diplomatic interactions, peacekeeping endeavours, economic collaboration, and measures aimed at regional integration. Cameroon's impact beyond its national boundaries due to its geographical location and historical connections with neighbouring countries, hence affecting the collective ambitions of the African continent (Khadiagala, 2021). Furthermore, the political landscape of Cameroon, which is distinguished by its distinctive combination of Anglophone and Francophone areas, introduces intricacy to its position within the African Union. The governance, democracy, human rights, and socio-economic development concerns of Cameroon have significant implications for the African Union's policy-making and decision-making processes at the continental level. Given this context, it is crucial to conduct a thorough examination of Cameroon's involvement in African Union politics. This research will examine the historical background, geopolitical factors, diplomatic interactions, and policy measures implemented by Cameroon within the framework of the African Union (Khudaykulova, 2023). This study seeks to gain insights into the larger factors that shape African continental politics and the potential for regional integration, peace, and prosperity by examining Cameroon's contributions, problems, and goals within the AU. Therefore, the researcher sought to investigation into the role of Cameroon  in African Union Politics.

1.2 Statement of the problem

With its important membership in the African Union (AU), Cameroon has a substantial influence on the political dynamics of the continent. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of research on the precise characteristics and magnitude of Cameroon's impact inside the African Union (AU) framework (Magara, 2022). Although Cameroon has been a member of the African Union for a long time, there is a significant lack of academic research on its specific position and impact in AU politics. This study addresses the little knowledge of Cameroon's participation in the AU, emphasising the need for a thorough examination of the reasons, tactics, and consequences of Cameroon's engagement in African Union matters (Musau, 2023). The study aims to fill this void by offering vital insights into the intricacies of AU politics and Cameroon's role within it. Therefore, the study investigate  the role of Cameroon  in African Union Politics.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate  the role of Cameroon in African Union Politics. The specific objectives is as follows

Examine Cameroon's historical involvement in African Union (AU) decision-making processes.

Assess the role of Cameroon in mediating conflicts and promoting peace and stability within the African Union.

Investigate the challenges and opportunities faced by Cameroon in its engagement with the AU.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is Cameroon's historical involvement in African Union (AU) decision-making processes?

What is the role of Cameroon in mediating conflicts and promoting peace and stability within the African Union?

What are the challenges and opportunities faced by Cameroon in its engagement with the AU?

1.5 Significance of the study

This research holds significant implications for academia, policymakers, and practitioners interested in African politics, international relations, and regional organizations. By shedding light on Cameroon's role within the African Union, the study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of continental dynamics and facilitates informed decision-making at both national and supranational levels. Furthermore, the findings of this research can potentially inform strategies aimed at strengthening Cameroon's engagement with the AU and maximizing its impact on African Union policies and initiatives.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on investigating the role of Cameroon  in African Union Politics. Empirically, the study will examine Cameroon's historical involvement in African Union (AU) decision-making processes, assess the role of Cameroon in mediating conflicts and promoting peace and stability within the African Union and investigate the challenges and opportunities faced by Cameroon in its engagement with the AU

1.7 Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8 Definition of terms

African Union (AU): A continental union consisting of 55 member states across Africa, established to promote economic integration, political cooperation, and peace and security on the continent. 

Politics: The activities, processes, and principles related to governance, decision-making, and power dynamics within a society or among nations. In the context of this research, it encompasses the diplomatic relations, policy decisions, and institutional mechanisms within the African Union.

African Union Politics: The political dynamics, interactions, and negotiations among member states within the African Union framework. This includes discussions on regional integration, conflict resolution, peacekeeping efforts, economic development initiatives, and other issues relevant to the African continent.


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