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SA’s former health, foreign and home affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has finished her tenure as chairwoman of the AU to be replaced by Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chad’s foreign affairs minister. Much of the analysis of her tenure has been uninformed, vitriolic or unbalanced. Though Dlamini-Zuma was rightly criticised for spending too much time in SA and relying heavily on South African advisers, her record must also be assessed within the context of the AU as an underfunded body of only 700 bureaucrats dominated by heads of state and dependent on often ineffectual governments to implement its decisions. Dlamini-Zuma made some progress in reforming the AU’s archaic bureaucracy, working closely with SA, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria. She sought to make the AU travel policy more cost-effective, cutting down on some business class travel and reducing the per diem costs for external consultants. She also revived the AU’s moribund Administrative Tribunal to settle staff disputes. She ...

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