- History of the African Union
African Unionis intended to be a geo-politicalentity covering the entirety of the African continent.
Its origins originated in the
Union of African States, an early confederationthat was established by Kwame Nkrumahin the 1960s, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the Organisation of African Unity(OAU), which was established on May 25, 1963, and the African Economic Communityin 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders, often dubbing it the "Dictators' Club". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2115736.stm African Union replaces dictators' club] , BBC, 8 July 2002] The idea of creating the AU was revived in the mid-1990s under the leadership of Libyan head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi: the heads of state and government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declaration(named after Sirte, in Libya) on September 9, 1999, calling for the establishment of an African Union. The Declaration was followed by summits at Loméin 2000, when the Constitutive Act of the African Unionwas adopted, and at Lusakain 2001, when the plan for the implementation of the African Union was adopted. During the same period, the initiative for the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development(NEPAD), was also established.
cramble for Africa
The first attempts to create a politically unified state encompassing the whole of the African continent were made by European colonial powers in the nineteenth century, intent on harnessing the vast
natural resourcesand huge amount of manpower the continent had to offer to their Empires. However the strong rivalry between European powers such as Great Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germanyand Spainand Portugal, meant the reality soon dawned that no one nation was powerful enough to outdo all the others, and take complete control of the continent.
Instead, they carved the continent up between them, scrambling for control of as much territory as possible, and attempting to prevent their rivals from obtaining favourable regions. The European powers essentially maintained control of their territories as
coloniesuntil the second half of the twentieth century, when changes in European policy and thinking, led to releasing of control over their African colonies, and the creation of independent nations across the continent took place between the 1950sand 1970s.
Union of African States
The Union of African States, was a short lasting union of three
West African states, in the 1960s - Mali, Ghana, and Guinea. This union was Marxistpolitically, and was lead by such African revolutionaries as Kwame Nkrumahof Ghana and Sékou Touré of Guinea, who was president of Guinea.
1958- 11-23, a Ghana- GuineaUnion was formed with a flag like that of Ghana but with two black stars. In May 1959 it was announced that the Union would be renamed Union of African States with a flag like that of Ghana "with as many black stars as there were members".Fact|date=October 2007 In April, 1961 Malijoined this union, so the flag then had three stars. The Union fell apart in 1962, when Guinea started to reach out to the United States, against the acquaintance of their Socialist partner, the U.S.S.R..
Organisation of African Unity
The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) or Organisation de l'Unité Africaine (OUA) was established on
25 May, 1963. It was disbanded on 9 July, 2002by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbekiand replaced by the African Union.
African Economic Community
The African Economic Community (abbreviated AEC) is an organization of
African Unionstates establishing grounds for mutual economic development among the majority of African states. The member states are mounting efforts to collaborate economically, but are impeded by civil wars raging in parts of Africa. The stated goals of the organization include the creation of free trade areas, customs unions, a single market, a central bank, and a common currency thus establishing an economic and monetary union.
Western Saharan membership, Moroccan withdrawal
The only African state that is not a member of the African Union is
Morocco, which left the AU's predecessor, the Organization of African Unity(OAU), in 1984, when many of the other member states supported the Sahrawinationalist Polisario Front's Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1428796.stm BBC News (July 8 2001) - "OAU considers Morocco readmission"] (accessed July 9, 2006).] [ [http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/020709/2002070920.html Arabic News (July 9 2002) - "South African paper says Morocco should be one of the AU and NEPAD leaders"] (Accessed July 9, 2006)] Morocco's ally, Zaire, similarly opposed the OAU's admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and the Mobutu regime boycotted the organisation from 1984to 1986. [ [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+zr0178) "Zaire: A Country Study", "Relations with North Africa"] (accessed May 18, 2007)] Some countries have since retracted their support for the Sahrawi Republic. [ [http://www.map.ma/eng/sections/politics/togo_confirms_to_au/view Togo confirms to AU withdrawal of recognition of SADR] (accessed July 9, 2006).]
The Sirte Declaration was the resolution adopted by the
Organisation of African Unityon 9 September 1999, at Sirte, Libya, to create the African Union.
Constitutive Act of the African Union
The Constitutive Act of the African Union sets out the codified framework under which the
African Unionis to conduct itself. It was signed on 11 July 2000at Lomé, Togo.
The African Union was launched in
Durbanon July 9, 2002, by its first president, South African Thabo Mbeki, at the first session of the Assembly of the African Union. The second session of the Assembly was in Maputoin 2003, and the third session in Addis Ababaon July 6, 2004.
Economic and monetary union
A stated goal of the AU is to establish a common African currency and banking institutions.
History of Africa
History of the Union of African States
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