Intro: on April 15th 2015, the Africa in the International Setting Class of Ashesi University organized an African Union summit simulation to help students appreciate the role, structure and activities of the African Union as well as the economic, social, and political-security issues facing African countries.
The topic at the center of the simulation was ‘The increasing spread of militant Islamist terrorism requires the military participation of all African countries’
The Model AU session, or rather the “Model Kevin Banful” session, for some was a befitting climax to the AIS Course. It put students to the task of knowing the countries they represented in and out. The countries we had spent the semester representing now became an actual, visible representation of our being leading us to assume roles once unknown to us before the AIS Course.
The advantages of the model AU session were endless. For one it introduced us to how disorganized discourse between countries could be. The words courteous or polite seemed so distant at that particular moment. Angers flared, confusion reigned supreme and Kenya and Nigeria were the unfortunate targets of every countries’ cross hairs.
What the session did do for us was to allow us to not only apply all the topics covered during the semester but to also engage directly with issues from the context of countries directly affected by all these issues.
How are these AU meetings important to national development? During the session Kenya was quizzed a little on the Al-Shabab insurgence in the country. However, the seemed the delegate did not know much and for that reason the house was unable to pass any resolution that could help end it. This observation signifies that any delegate that attends any of the summits be it UN or AU must go with a goal and well prepared to bring back home some sort of benefit from the meeting.
Again the model although a simulation, helped students gain a clearer understanding of the capabilities and constraints that shape the policies of AU member states in the arena of intra-African diplomacy on issues of mutual concern. For instance while the delegate from equatorial guinea was concern about the abysmal economic conditions in his country, the house was deliberating on how to prevent Islamic insurgence.
All is well that ends well and it is our opinion that this session was without a doubt a befitting end to this AIS Course.