Spotlight: critical insights into the African Union


When African leaders meet to discuss the continent’s crises and development ambitions, ISS staff help diplomats, policy makers, media and civil society to interpret and act upon their decisions.

African Union (AU) summits are held twice a year, mostly behind closed doors. The second summit of 2017 is currently underway in Addis Ababa, running from 27 June to 4 July. 

What is discussed and decided is not always made public, yet is sought after by organisations and governments with an interest in the continent. The ISS is recognised as a trusted and independent rapporteur and analyst of AU matters. This makes it a leading source of information to those awaiting news from AU summits. 

‘We make the AU more accessible,’ says Stephanie Wolters, head of the ISS Peace and Security Research Programme.

ISS insights into the AU are valuable currency for anybody wanting to understand the continent

ISS seminars before and after AU summits have become essential to those wanting to understand the thinking and proposals of African leaders. They provide useful perspectives, with timely and independent analysis that lifts the curtain on AU affairs.

‘ISS insights into the AU are valuable currency for anybody wanting to understand the continent,’ Wolters says.  

The ISS can play the role it does because it invests in relationships with AU officials and African embassies, through a permanent ISS presence in Addis Ababa where the AU is based.

The ISS’ credibility is based on its being African with 25 years’ experience on the continent.

 ‘AU officials speak to the ISS because they trust us and know we are working towards the same goal of peace and stability on the continent,’ says Wolters.

The ISS has the respect of senior African officials, even when it is critical, because its analysis is constructive and based on research and evidence from the field. ISS also provides practical options and solutions to the challenges identified in its research.

ISS analysis of the 29th AU summit from 27 June to 4 July:

AU summit 29: Africa’s need is bigger than ever

AU summit 29: Eradicating more than just Boko Haram

AU summit 29: Securing funds for peace operations

AU summit 29: New partners court the African Union

AU summit 29: Why are some crises not on the agenda?

For more information contact:

Stephanie Wolters, ISS: +27 72 433 4808,

Amb Alfred Dube, ISS: +251 94 413 6044,

Picture: UNMISS