Faculty Mentor

Prof Maria Nzomo

Faculty Affiliation

lecturer, Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies


This paper aims to analyse the link between the African Union (AU), as the premier regional institution whose mandate is mainly to provide peace and security on the continent, and Regional Economic Communities (RECS) in maintenance of peace and security. The article, other than providing a brief background of the international security system, attempts to analyse the conceptual, theoretical, and normative aspects of security within the context of mainly the role of African Union, and RECs, and connects it to the broader international system, where the United Nation(UN) remains a central actor on issues of global peace security. To anchor the debate on the role of the AU and RECs on peace and security the paper uses the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a case study for empirical analysis. This is due to the greater similarity between ECOWAS and the AU peace and security architecture that continues to play a complimentary role in ensuring peace and security in the ECOWAS sub- region as evidenced by its numerous intervention with full support of the AU. The article concludes by reiterating the need for institutionalising further the various norms and legal frameworks that should mirror RECs and AU’s collective stand in ensuring peace and security. RECs should also be at the forefront in ensuring peace and security as they are closer to the conflict, which impacts their national interest more than the AU or UN which in most cases seems far flung and do not bear the immediate negative impact of the conflict.