The African Union (AU) has been around in some form for more than 50 years.

While it represents a symbol of African unity in the post-colonial decades, it has faced many challenges in a new era where corruption and conflict continue to dominate the headlines.

Its new chief, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, says Africa is running out of time to save itself from permanent deprivation. Kagame hopes to implement certain reforms during his tenure as chairman.

He has pushed for member states to pay a 0.2 percent tax on imports from outside Africa, to make the AU less reliant on foreign aid. About half of its 55 countries have signed up.

The reforms commission has discussed sharpening the AU's focus to a few areas and re-evaluating its many smaller bodies to reflect that.

It also wants to encourage more unity across the continent, through an African Passport and African Youth groups. And the commission wants to adopt a process to make sure members abide by the AU's decisions.

So, can the AU succeed in bringing reforms?

Presenter: Laura Kyle

Guests:

Adama Gaye - West Africa analyst

Abe Ejembi - Lawyer and former director of North Central Zone Civil Liberties Organisation

Source: Al Jazeera News