George Ayittey, the internationally acclaimed Ghanaian economist does not mince words in sizing up the AU:
Please, please, don’t ask about the African Union. It is the most useless organization we have on the continent. It can’t even define “democracy” and it is completely bereft of originality. It is imbued with “copy-cat” mentality. Europe has the European Union (EU), so we must have the African Union (AU). The AU forgot that to become a member of the European Union, a country must meet very strict requirements. But in the case of the African Union, there are no requirements. Any rogue and collapsed state can be a member. And when the African Union unveiled NEPAD (the New Economic Partnership for African Development), it boasted that NEPAD was an “African crafted program.” But as it turned out, NEPAD was modeled after the Marshall Aid Plan. When the Darfur crisis flared up, the AU was nowhere to be found. It was doing the watutsi [dance] in Addis Ababa. After much international condemnation, the AU finally managed to cobble together some troops to send to Darfur.