As Barack Obama is due to give a speech to the African Union, Cate Gower explains what the organisation is and how it is helping the continent
What is the African Union?
The AU was founded on September 9, 1999 with the view to accelerate the process of integration within the continent so that it may play a more prominent role in the global economy whilst addressing social, economic and political problems.
The AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, looked to create unity and solidarity among African states. It enabled member states to coordinate development and promote cooperation within the UN framework. Many of these remain ingrained in the AU’s mission.
Who are the member states?
The AU represents 98 per cent of the countries that comprise the African continent (excluding Morocco).
What are the objectives of the AU?
These are just some of the many objectives:
– To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;
– To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
– To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent;
– To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance.
What is the AU’s vision?
“An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.” (AU Vision and Mission)
Full article: What is the African Union and has it proven to be successful? (The Telegraph)