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Abstract

Over the last couple of years, “African Ownership” has become a buzzword in many fields. Economic development initiatives like the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) are based on it, partnership agreements like the Joint AU-EU Africa Strategy are built around it and its central concept of Africanisation guides virtually all external relations of the continent. African leaders (rightly) insist on it, international organisations (rightly) preach it and many non-African actors are (unsurprisingly) hiding behind it. The concept of African Ownership is so omnipresent today that it is more than surprising that the simple question of who actually owns it has not yet been asked. It is the declared purpose of this paper to disentangle rhetoric from reality and identify the owner as well as the limits of African ownership in the sphere of peace and security.

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