Given the frequency with which high-level peacemaking is undertaken in Africa, there is surprisingly little discussion in official circles about the science and art of mediation.

The first part of this paper examines some of the specific problems in this regard: insufficient expertise in mediation; inadequate institutional support for mediators; no institutional memory and learning; and no viable concept of mediation. The second part of the paper proposes the establishment of specialist mediation units in the AU and regional organisations as a means of addressing these problems.