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 organization of Africa Unity (O.A.U) after 39 years of its existence. The formation of 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 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
- To promote democracy and fundamental human rights.
- To facilitate economic development in Africa.
- To end the senseless wars and conflicts causing so much pain and suffering to Africa.
- To defeat poverty, disease and ignorance in the continent.
- To promote deep and strong political, economic and social integration among members states.
- To introduce a single currency for the African continent.
STRUCTURE OF THE AFRICAN UNION
The African Union is patterned loosely on the European Union and embodies as similar aim of continental integration.
The 4th ordinary session of Assembly of African Union (A.U) came up with the following decision.
- African parliament-to be located in South Africa.
- African Central Bank in West African.
iii. African Investment Bank in North Africa.
Iv. African monetary fund in central Africa.
- African court of Justice in East Africa.
PROPOSED ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN UNION
- Regional economic co-operation which can also bring about infrastructural development in areas like transport, communications and energy which would otherwise be too expensive for some.