African Union | AU

The African Union is a regional union composed of all 55 African member states, founded in 1963 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity. The group strives to work for regional cohesion, social cooperation and economic development within the continent. The African Union has become an increasingly prominent organizational body and in recent years has been relied on to mediate internal state disputes and to help organize foreign policy action on behalf of member nations. This session of the AU will discuss the rise of terror groups on African soil as well as the potential unification and standardization of member state currencies. This committee is specialized to a regional topic, and is best suited to delegates with some experience in Model UN and/or an interest in the politics of Africa.

Topics

Harnessing Digitalization for African Development 

In its latest edition of Africa Pulse, the World Bank outlines digitalization as one of the key pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job formation, and economic diversification. From ordering seeds and transferring money via SMS to illuminating entire villages with solar lamp modules, new technologies are fuelling a rapid growth in productivity and raising living standards in the poorest of regions. The African Union will discuss the issues of how to expand digital connectivity throughout the continent and encourage digital entrepreneurship in order to harness the full potential of the continent’s human development. We will also examine how technology can benefit specific sectors such as agriculture, finance and health.

 

The Western Sahara Conflict 

Western Sahara in north Africa is a highly disputed territory with severe regional and global ramifications. Currently controlled by Morocco, the sparsely populated and allegedly oil-rich region is led by the Polisario Front, an indigenous government fighting for independence. Despite some global recognition of the self-proclaimed Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (including recognition by the African Union), as well as a long series of failed UN peace talks and diplomatic missions, the conflict is far from resolved and unrest is growing. Throughout the conference, the AU will discuss possible regional solutions to the Western Saharan crisis, and in doing so prevent a very possible global catastrophe.

Study Guide

Chairs

Ellasandra Walsh

Hello, future delegates! I am a current fourth year student at St Andrews studying IR, French, and Arabic and am delighted to serve as one of your AU chairs this session. Having just returned from a semester abroad in Africa (Morocco to be exact), I am so excited to explore some of the real-life issues affecting the continent and its individual member states- and even more excited for the chance to do so with all of you. I look forward to meeting everyone in October!

Gethin Binns

Gethin Binns is a hoopy frood who really knows where his study guide is. He has been doing MUN for a period in excess of the legal limit in 48 of the US states, which is why he is currently hiding from Federal authorities in Scotland. His cover identity is that he is a mild mannered law student at Edinburgh Uni and Secretary of their MUN Society. Talk to him about odd flavors of Italian gelato,  Kurt Vonnegut, or constitutional law. But always do so at a safe distance.

Justinus Steinhorst

My name is Justinus Steinhorst and I am a third year (incoming) Economics and Politics student at the University of Edinburgh. I have been involved with Model UN ever since entering high school, having attended countless conferences within Europe and abroad as delegate and chair. This year I am honoured to serve as Treasurer on the committee of our university’s EdMUN society, and host our wonderful ScotMUN conference. Africa is an incredibly vibrant and diverse continent that will play an increasing role in shaping our planet’s demographic and economic landscape into the future. As China and and the European Union wrangle to invest on the continent, it remains up to the countries of the African Union to ensure that this new “Scramble for Africa” is conducive to African goals and interests. I look forward to chairing this prestigious multilateral organisation and engaging in a weekend of fruitful debate in the serene setting of St. Andrews.” 

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