The African Union (AU) is an international intergovernmental organization. Goals, Member States

The African Union (AU) is an international intergovernmental organization. Goals, Member States
The African Union (AU) is an international intergovernmental organization. Goals, Member States

The modern world is a multipolar community. Such an interstate association of European countries as the European Union is widely known. By analogy with this community, African countries have created their own territorial entity - the African Union.

Date of creation of the organization

The date of the organization's inception has not yet been unequivocally established. The world community recognizes July 9, 2002 as the union's birthday. The members of the association themselves consider May 26, 2001 as the date of foundation. Why is there such a discrepancy?

The decision on the formation of the African Union was adopted in September 1999 at an emergency meeting of African heads of state in Libya (in the city of Sirte). The following year, they approved the act establishing the AU at a summit in the city of Lome (Togo) and proclaimed the creation of the union. In May 2001, fifty-one African countries ratified the act establishing the AU. This is how the first date appeared.

The 37th Assembly of the OAU in July of the same year in the city of Lusaka (the capital of Zambia) approved the basic documents characterizing the legislative framework and the structure of the neworganizations. The founding charter replaced the Charter of the OAU, which remained the legal basis for the entire transition period from the AOE to the AU (which lasted a year). On July 9, 2002, the AU summit opened for the first time, which was held in the city of Durban (South Africa). It elected Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, as the first President of the African Union. Europeans consider this date the beginning of the history of the African Union.

Reasons for the union

The African Union is the largest organization of the states of the African continent. The reasons for its occurrence grew out of the economic and political changes that occurred in the world after the formation of the first interstate association of African countries.

African Union

After the independence of the seventeen countries of Africa in 1960, known as the "Year of Africa", their leaders decided to work together to solve the problems that have arisen. Back in 1963, countries joined forces within the framework of the Organization of African Unity. The primary goals of the political interstate association were: the protection of national independence and the integrity of the territory of states, the development of cooperation between the countries of the union, the resolution of territorial disputes, interaction in all spheres of life, and the focus on international cooperation.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, most of the goals were achieved. Due to the fundamental changes in the framework of international cooperation, African countries faced new challenges. On the basis of the OAU, it was decided to create a successor withnew goals. The current economic situation in African countries requires the search for the latest effective mechanisms for resolving emerging problems.

Main difference

The formed union of African countries has developed and launched the economic program NEPAD (according to the first letters of the English name New Partnership for Africa s Development) - "New Partnership for Africa's Development". The program implies long-term development of states based on integration among themselves and equal cooperation with the countries of the world community.

The transition of the union from the priority of political goals to economic foundations, as history shows, will have a beneficial effect on solving the existing problems of African countries. This refers to the main difference between the OAU and the AU. The economic interaction of states is planned without attempts to change the current political and administrative division.

Purpose of the organization

The economic integration of African countries has been chosen as the primary goal. Economic and political cooperation, coupled with the strengthening of solidarity at the international level, is aimed at achieving the goal of protecting sovereignty and creating optimal living conditions for the people of Africa.

Main Tasks

To achieve the set goals, the main areas of activity, formulated as the tasks of the African Union, are highlighted. In the first place is the development and strengthening of the integration of African countries in the socio-economic and political spheres. For its implementation, the implementation of the second task is required: to protect the interests of the population of the continent,promoting them internationally. From the first two follows the next task, without which it is impossible to fulfill the previous ones: ensuring peace and security for all countries of the continent. And the final task: promoting the formation of democratic institutions and the protection of human rights.

International intergovernmental organizations

Member States of the Union

Today, fifty-four states are members of the African Union. If we take into account that fifty-five countries and five unrecognized and self-proclaimed states are located on the African continent, then these are almost all the countries of Africa. In principle, the Kingdom of Morocco does not join the union of African states, explaining its refusal by the unlawful decision of the union to join Western Sahara. Morocco claims this territory as its own.

Guinea Bissau

Countries in the African Union were not at the same time. Most of them were founders of the Organization of African Unity in 1963. After the transformation of the OAU, they all moved to the African Union. In 1963, on the twenty-fifth of May, the union included the countries: Algeria, Benin (until 1975 Dahomey), Burkina Faso (until 1984 Upper Volta), Burundi, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Cameroon, Congo, Kot -d'Ivoire (until 1986 it was called the Ivory Coast), Madagascar, Liberia, Mauritania, Mali, Libya, Morocco (withdrew from the union in 1984), Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, Tunisia, Central African Republic, Chad,Sudan, Ethiopia. On the thirteenth of December of the same year, Kenya joined the OAU.

Country Nigeria

Increasing the union to the size of the continent

In 1964, Tanzania entered the OAU - January 16, Malawi - July 13, Zambia - December 16. Gambia joined in October 1965, Botswana on October 31, 1966. 1968 joined the ranks of the organization with three more countries: Mauritius, Swaziland - September 24, 1968, Equatorial Guinea - October 12. Botswana, Lesotho, Guinea-Bissau joined the union on October 19, 1973. And in 1975, Angola joined - on February 11, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Verde, Comoros on July 18. On June 29, 1976, the Union was supplemented by the Seychelles. Djibouti joined the rest of the states on June 27, 1977, Zimbabwe (the country of poor millionaires, as it is called) - in 1980, Western Sahara - on February 22, 1982. The nineties again led to an increase in the number of members of the Organization of African Unity: Namibia joined in 1990, Eritrea became a member on May 24, 1993, and the Republic of South Africa on June 6, 1994. South Sudan was the last state to gain membership in the African Union on July 28, 2011.

Zimbabwe country

Diversity of participating countries

The AU includes countries that are at different stages of development in terms of their socio-economic development. Let's characterize some of them.

The country of Nigeria is not inferior to other African countries in terms of population. However, it is only in the fourteenth place in terms of the area of ​​its territory. Since 2014the state has become the leading oil producer on the continent.

Senegal country

Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world, ranks among the top five. Rich deposits of oil, bauxites and phosphates are not developed. The main occupation of the population is fishing and rice cultivation.

The country of Senegal is also among the poorest. The development of deposits of gold, oil, iron ore and copper is poorly conducted. The state survives on humanitarian aid funds from abroad.

Cameroon is a country of opposites. On the one hand, it is a state with significant oil reserves, ranking eleventh among the oil-producing countries in Africa. This allows us to call the country a self-sufficient state. On the other hand, half of its population is below the poverty line.


The urgency of armed conflicts between countries led to the formation of the basic principle of the AU. Transnational corporations and the local elite are interested in obtaining the right to own and dispose of deposits of various minerals on the territory of the states of the continent. To prevent possible armed conflicts, the rule of recognizing the state borders of the members of the union, which they established at the time of their independence, was adopted.

Cameroon country

The Union assumed the right to directly intervene in the affairs of the member states of the organization, if the decision is made by two-thirds of all members of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. Such a decision andthe subsequent entry of the AU troops is possible in the event of genocide against individual peoples, the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Tradition and innovation

The new principle is that heads of governments who come to power illegally are not allowed to work in the AU. A number of sanctions are provided for violating countries, ranging from the deprivation of a vote in the Assembly and ending with the termination of economic cooperation. The measures are aimed at increasing the responsibility of state leaders.

In the international arena, the AU adheres to the principle of cooperation and non-alignment proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.

Structure of authorities

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government is at the head of the highest authorities of the African Union and is convened once a year. The executive branch is dominated by the AU Commission. For the election of the Chairman of the AU and the Chairman of the Commission of the AU, elections are held once a year. A peculiar tradition has developed in the OAU: the chair of the African Union is occupied by the head of state in which the summit was held. The structure of the authorities assumes the choice of the All African Parliament (APA).

The judiciary is headed by the Court of the Union, which is based in Nigeria. The African Central Bank, the African Monetary Fund, and the African Investment Bank have been set up to solve all-Union problems. As necessary, the Assembly has the right to organize specialized technical committees to resolve pressing issues. Thus an alliance was borneconomics, social policy and culture. Troops were formed in 2010 to replace the originally created Regional Multinational Troops.

The African Union Commission has eight members. Women make up the vast majority of them (five out of eight). The Statute of the UPA recommends the inclusion of two women among the five mandatory deputies from each member state of the union.

The Headquarters and Administration of the African Union are located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

African Union Outlook

The twenty-first century seeks to avoid unforeseen situations, paying increasing attention to the formation and development of supranational structures. Today, international intergovernmental organizations are turning into centers for directing efforts to solve the global problems of our time. The integration of African countries, which for the most part belong to the category of the poorest, is designed to join forces to eliminate the causes of the generation of a beggarly state.

The AU replaces the two international intergovernmental organizations that existed before it: the OAU and the AEC (African Economic Community). The operation of the nuclear power plant, designed for thirty-four years (starting from 1976), could not cope with the negative consequences of globalization. The AU is called to correct the situation.

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