Africa is the second-largest continent on earth, with the largest number of countries. Africa’s territory is almost the same size as Asia.
Africa has more say in the United Nations compared to what the majority may think. With, 54 seats in the UN which account for more than a quarter of the total UN members. Africa's strength was seen by the formation of the African Union. The AU has provided African countries with large bargaining power. The formation of AU was a clear indication that Africa is ready to come up with a solution for the problems and challenges it faces. This allows African leaders to come up with their own solutions without any external influence.
Africa is also demanding more seats in the United Nations Security Council as it will guarantee Africa more representation in the UN. The representation is expected to give African countries at least two permanent seats together with the veto powers.
In United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Africa is known to vote as a bloc to increase its bargaining power.
Africa has a stronger influence on the world's strategic structure. Previously Africa had no influence or status over the international system. However, the formation of the AU in 2002 has led to the integration of the Africa continent. It has to lead to the development of a multi-polar world as AU speaks on behalf of African countries.
Africa is now an indispensable unit in global affairs as it plays a great role in the promotion of world peace and the development of new international political and economic order. Africa plays now a major part in addressing global issues from the fight against terrorism, illegal immigration, and climate change. AU may not operate independently, but in the long run with its continuous growth and development, it is expected to be an integrated entity. Africa's economies have grown faster than East Asia since the new century.
Africa as a continent has strengthened its capacity to address regional issues. In the past Africa has suffered frequent social unrest, conflict, military coup, and wars. Previously 70% of the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the regional conflict in Africa were led by the UN. UN-led the peace keeping operations in the continent as Africa was powerless and only stood and watched. Following the formation of AU Africa has been able to rely on itself to deal with regional issues. According to the African Union charter, its primary mission is to maintain peace and security similar to United Nations Security Council.
AU missions in maintaining peace in the continent have been successful in Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia, and Sudan by leading in the mediation process. The ability of Africa to handle and resolve regional issues is an important symbol of raising the status of Africa internationally.