Ndubuisi Christian Ani is a specialist in governance, peace and security. He serves as a Senior Regional Advisor with the GIZ support project at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana. Prior to this, Christian was a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Ethiopia and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in South Africa. Christian holds a PhD in international relations; a Master of Social Science degree in conflict transformation and peace studies and a Bachelor of Social Science Honours in international relations (Cum Laude) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His research interests include issues on human security, peacebuilding, regional integration, social cohesion, race, and indigenous knowledge systems. Christian is the lead advisor in setting up the KAIPTC’s flagship Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum which provides a dialogue platform on pressing security challenges in Africa.
In the past five years, the African Union's direct intervention in crisis situations has declined dramatically compared to its interventions in the first decade of its establishment in 2001. A new trend shows that sub-regional bodies are increasingly relying on their capacities to address security issues in their respective regions rather than relying on the bureaucracies at the continental level. As such, the African Union (AU) seems to be focusing more on norm-setting while sub-regional arrangements spearhead peace initiatives. In January 2017, the AU began a reform process to enhance its efficiency. One of the major reform aspects is to develop a clear division of labour between the AU and sub-regional organizations given the overlapping and sometimes conflicting relationships between them. However, there is currently no roadmap on how to delimit the scope of African institutions due to the highly political nature of the issue. Hence, this research proposal seeks to explore the policy options on the different roles that could be played by the AU and sub-regional arrangements for the efficiency of peace and security on the continent. Using primary and secondary sources, this research will engage in a constructivist analysis of perspectives of key decision makers on how to realign the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The research will answer the following key questions: 1. Can a clear division of labor between the AU and subregions enhance peace and security on the continent as well as Africa's integration agenda? 2. What roles and responsibilities are most suitable at the level of the AU and at the sub-regional level in matters of peace and security? 3. In what circumstances should the AU intervene to provide checks and balances to interventions by sub-regional organizations? 4. How can the AU and sub-regions coordinate and sequence their interventions effectively for effective impact and sustainable peace?