This issue explores Africa’s new free trade area and violence in Cameroon. The 31st African Union (AU) summit in Nouakchott for the first time saw a vigorous interrogation of the organisation’s proposed budget. Issues of corruption and mismanagement were also brought to light as part of the process – seen as one of the spin offs of the reforms led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Positive steps were taken at the 31st AU summit in Nouakchott, from 25 June to 2 July, to make the 2019 AU budget more credible and transparent. Although this new process is not stipulated in the current institutional reform process, it is in line with one of its main priorities, namely to ‘manage the business of the AU efficiently and effectively at both the political and operational levels’.