The African Union was established on Monday 8th of July 2002 by African Heads of State in Durban South Africa. This marked the end of the Organization of Africa Unity (O.A.U) after 39 years of its existence. The formation of the African Union (A.U) was initiated by Libyan leader Moamen Gadhafi, who first proposed it as a full-blown “United States of Africa.”
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The 37th summit of the Organization of Africa Union (O.A.U) held between the 9th -13th of July, 2001 was when the protocol establishing A.U. was signed. This summit was held in Lome, Togo and that was the last summit of the O.A.U.
Africa Union has 53 members which include every African nation, except Morocco which withdrew from the O.A.U in 1985 after the admission of Western Sahara into the O.A.U. The A.U. has the power to interfere in the internal affairs of members, unlike the O.A.U.
Aims and Objectives of African Union
The African Union (AU) has a set of aims and objectives that guide its work and vision for the African continent. While the specific objectives may evolve over time, here are the general aims and objectives of the AU:
1. Promote Democracy and Fundamental Human Rights: The AU aims to foster democratic governance, uphold human rights, and promote the rule of law across the continent. It seeks to strengthen institutions, protect civil liberties, and ensure transparent and accountable governance in member states.
2. Facilitate Economic Development in Africa: The AU is committed to promoting sustainable economic development and integration in Africa. It seeks to create an enabling environment for trade, investment, and entrepreneurship. The AU supports initiatives that enhance economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction, with a particular emphasis on inclusive and equitable development.
3. Address Conflict and Promote Peace: The AU strives to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts in Africa. It promotes peaceful dialogue, mediation, and reconciliation processes to end wars, eliminate violence, and build lasting peace. The AU supports peacekeeping operations and collaborates with regional organizations and the international community to promote stability and security.
4. Eradicate Poverty, Disease, and Ignorance: The AU is dedicated to addressing the challenges of poverty, disease, and lack of education across the continent. It aims to improve access to quality education, healthcare services, and essential infrastructure. The AU supports efforts to eradicate poverty, combat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other public health challenges, and promote sustainable development in all sectors.
5. Promote Political, Economic, and Social Integration: The AU seeks to foster deep and strong integration among member states. It promotes cooperation and collaboration in various areas, including politics, economics, and social development. The AU encourages regional economic communities, harmonization of policies, and the free movement of people, goods, and services to enhance regional integration and African unity.
6. Introduce a Single Currency for the African Continent: The AU envisions the establishment of a single currency for Africa. This objective aims to enhance intra-African trade, facilitate economic integration, and strengthen regional cooperation. The single currency would promote monetary stability, facilitate cross-border transactions, and support economic growth and development across the continent.
These aims and objectives reflect the AU’s commitment to advancing Africa’s interests, promoting unity, and addressing the continent’s challenges through collective action. The AU works in collaboration with member states, regional organizations, and international partners to achieve these objectives and build a prosperous, peaceful, and integrated Africa.
- Give a brief history of A.U’s formation.
- Give 4 aims and objectives of the A.U.
STRUCTURE OF THE AFRICAN UNION
The African Union (AU) has a structure consisting of various organs and institutions that work together to guide and implement its policies and objectives. Here is an overview of the key components of the AU’s structure:
1. Assembly of the African Union: The Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the AU and comprises the heads of state and government of member countries. It meets annually to discuss and make decisions on continental issues, including peace and security, economic integration, and governance. The Assembly sets the overall direction and policies of the AU.
2. Executive Council: The Executive Council consists of foreign ministers or other designated officials from AU member countries. It meets twice a year to review and recommend actions on matters related to the AU’s objectives. The Executive Council’s decisions and recommendations are submitted to the Assembly for approval.
3. Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC): The PRC is composed of permanent representatives of member countries based at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It acts as a preparatory body for the Executive Council, examining and discussing agenda items before they are presented for ministerial consideration.
4. African Union Commission (AUC): The AUC is the AU’s administrative arm, responsible for implementing AU decisions, policies, and programs. It is composed of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and eight Commissioners, each leading a specific portfolio. The AUC coordinates and supports the AU’s activities, conducts research, and provides technical expertise.
5. Pan-African Parliament (PAP): The PAP is the legislative body of the AU and consists of representatives elected from the national parliaments of member countries. It provides a platform for African parliamentarians to discuss and propose legislation on continental issues, promote democratic governance, and contribute to the AU’s decision-making process.
6. Peace and Security Council (PSC): The PSC is responsible for promoting peace, security, and stability in Africa. It consists of 15 member countries elected by the Assembly, and it addresses conflicts, facilitates peace negotiations, and recommends interventions to prevent and resolve crises. The PSC works closely with regional mechanisms and international partners.
7. Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC): The ECOSOCC is a consultative body that brings together various civil society organizations and interest groups from different sectors across Africa. It provides a platform for dialogue, engagement, and collaboration between the AU and civil society on socio-economic and cultural issues.
8. Specialized Technical Committees (STCs): The AU has specialized committees that focus on specific areas such as agriculture, trade, energy, health, and education. The STCs consist of ministers responsible for the respective sectors and are tasked with developing policies, strategies, and programs to advance these sectors on the continental level.
These are the main organs and institutions that constitute the structure of the African Union. Through this framework, the AU aims to promote continental integration, address challenges, and advance the interests and well-being of Africa and its people.
PROPOSED ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN UNION
The African Union (AU) is a continental organization comprising 55 member states in Africa. The AU aims to promote unity, cooperation, and development across the African continent. While the AU has made significant progress since its establishment, there are several proposed achievements that it could work towards:
1. Peace and Security: The AU can prioritize efforts to enhance peace and security across the continent. This includes strengthening conflict prevention mechanisms, facilitating peace negotiations, and supporting peacekeeping operations in areas affected by conflicts. By fostering stability, the AU can create an enabling environment for sustainable development.
2. Economic Integration: The AU can strive for deeper economic integration among member states. This involves promoting regional economic communities, harmonizing trade policies, reducing trade barriers, and facilitating the free movement of goods, services, and people. A robust and integrated African economy can stimulate economic growth, boost intra-African trade, and attract foreign investment.
3. Infrastructure Development: The AU can focus on infrastructure development as a catalyst for economic growth. This includes investing in transportation networks, energy infrastructure, telecommunications, and water and sanitation systems. Improved infrastructure will facilitate trade, connect remote regions, and support the expansion of industries and markets across the continent.
4. Education and Skills Development: The AU can prioritize education and skills development to empower African youth and enhance human capital. This involves promoting access to quality education at all levels, investing in vocational training programs, and fostering innovation and research. A well-educated and skilled workforce is crucial for driving sustainable development and fostering economic diversification.
5. Health and Healthcare Systems: The AU can strengthen healthcare systems and promote access to quality healthcare services for all Africans. This includes investing in healthcare infrastructure, improving healthcare delivery, addressing public health challenges such as communicable diseases and pandemics, and promoting research and development in healthcare.
6. Environmental Sustainability: The AU can lead efforts to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable development. This includes promoting renewable energy, supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, conserving biodiversity, and addressing environmental degradation and pollution. By prioritizing sustainability, the AU can ensure a healthy and resilient future for Africa.
7. Human Rights and Good Governance: The AU can advocate for human rights, good governance, and the rule of law across the continent. This involves supporting democratic processes, strengthening institutions, promoting transparency and accountability, and protecting the rights of all individuals. Upholding these principles is essential for fostering peace, stability, and inclusive development.
8. Collaboration and Partnership: The AU can strengthen collaboration with regional and international partners, including other regional organizations, the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations. By forging strong partnerships, the AU can leverage resources, expertise, and knowledge to achieve its objectives effectively.
These proposed achievements are in line with the AU’s vision of an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa. By focusing on these areas, the AU can contribute to the overall development and well-being of African nations and foster a continent that thrives economically, socially, and environmentally.
GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS
- State the proposed achievements of African Union.
- Describe the pre-colonial administration in Yoruba land
- What functions did age grade perform in Igboland?
- Compare the Igbo pre-colonial system of government with the Hausa pre-colonial political system.
- The African Union was established in —— (a) July 2002 (b) July 2001 (c) July 2003
- The formation of African Union was initiated by ——- (a) Olusegun Obasanjo (b) Moamer Gadhafi (c) Thombo Mbeki
- African Union is made up of —— members (a) 52 (b) 54 (c) 53
- The following are the aims of African Union except ——- (a) To promote democracy (b) To eradicate poverty (c) To promote colonialism
- The following are organs of A.U except (a) The trusteeship council (b) The commission (c) The executive council
- What are the proposed achievements of A.U.?
- 2. List and explain the organs of A.U.