Flag of the African Union

African Union
  • Acronym: AU
  • Type: Intergovernmental Organization
  • Membership: 55 member states
  • Establishment: Established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and launched on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa.
  • Official Language(s): Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and any other African language
  • Headquarters: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa. It was established with the vision of an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

African Union History

The AU was established as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was created in 1963 to eradicate colonialism and improve political, social, and economic conditions across the continent. The establishment of the AU marked a paradigm shift from the OAU’s focus on liberation and sovereignty to a more ambitious mandate focused on developmental and economic integration, peace, and security issues.

African Union Structure

The AU’s structure is geared towards ensuring effective decision-making and implementation of its policies. Key organs include:

  • The Assembly, composed of heads of state and government, is the AU’s supreme policymaking organ.
  • The Executive Council, composed of foreign ministers, coordinates and makes decisions on policies in areas of common interest to the member states.
  • The Pan-African Parliament, intended as a platform for African people to get involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
  • The African Court of Justice and Human Rights, aimed at ensuring the protection of human and peoples’ rights across the continent.
  • The Commission, which is the AU’s secretariat and is responsible for the day-to-day management.

African Union Membership

Membership in the AU is open to all sovereign African states. The organization works to unite African nations, defend the sovereignty of its members, and accelerate political, social, and economic integration in the continent.

African Union Objectives

Promote Unity and Solidarity

The AU aims to strengthen bonds of solidarity and unity among African countries, beyond mere cooperation. It aspires to a deeper integration that will enable Africa to fulfill its potential as a united entity.

Foster Peace and Security

One of the AU’s primary objectives is to promote peace, security, and stability on the continent. It actively engages in conflict prevention, management, and resolution, and in combating terrorism and other security threats.

Accelerate Political and Socio-economic Integration

The AU is committed to accelerating socio-economic integration of the continent, including the establishment of the African Economic Community. It promotes sustainable development at the economic, social, and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.

Promote Democratic Principles and Institutions

The AU advocates for democratic principles and institutions, popular participation, and good governance. It encourages member states to implement democratic reforms and improve governance and accountability.

African Union Funding

The AU is funded by contributions from its member states, international partners, and through other sources like grants and donations. The member states’ contributions are assessed according to a formula that considers the GDP and population of each country.

African Union Projects

Agenda 2063

Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It encapsulates not only Africa’s aspirations for the future but also identifies key flagship programs which can boost Africa’s economic growth and development and lead to the rapid transformation of the continent.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

The AfCFTA is a landmark project of the AU, aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, paving the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union.

African Union Members

Member States

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