OAU: Organization of African Unity
Organization of African Unity [ ɔ ː gəna ɪ ze ɪ ʃ n əv AEFr ɪ kən ju ː n ɪ t ɪ, English], abbreviation OAU by Abbreviationfinder, French Organization de l’Unité Africaine [ ɔ rganiza sj ɔ də lyni te afri kε ː n], acronym OUA, German organization of African unity, acronym OAE, Association of states founded in 1963 and formally dissolved in 2001, which was open to all sovereign states in Africa (including the islands off the continent); The seat was Addis Ababa. It counted (2001) 53 member states. All the new African states joined the 30 founding members after gaining their independence and in 1994 the Republic of South Africa after the end of apartheid rule. The admission of the “Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara” (Western Sahara) proclaimed by the Polisario Front in 1982 led to the exit of Morocco in 1984 (with effect from 1985). On the basis of its charter, the OAU advocated African unity and mutual cooperation, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its members, but was not a defensive alliance.
Organs: The highest organ was the annual summit conference the heads of state and government, who were able to make binding decisions with a two-thirds majority and who elected the chairman, who changes annually. The Council of Ministers, which meets at least twice a year, prepared the summit conferences and coordinated cooperation within the member states. The permanent body was the General Secretariat with the General Secretary elected by the Summit Conference (term of office of four years), who had very limited powers. Numerous commissions were among others. responsible for business and social affairs, science and culture, education and health, as well as mediation and arbitration, transport and telecommunications. In addition, ad hoc committees were formed as required. 1963-94 there was a liberation committee (seat: Dar es Salaam),
History: The anti-colonial movements in Africa that grew stronger after 1945 were particularly influenced by the ideas of Pan-Africanism, strived for the strongest possible negotiating position with the colonial powers and hoped that the existence of larger markets would provide their countries with better development opportunities. In addition, they saw opportunities to overcome particularist tendencies ( tribalism) in larger alliances. Especially K. Nkrumah, 1960–66 President of Ghana, called for the formation of a union government for all of Africa, which was rejected by most of the independent states in Africa. Under the influence of the East-West conflict, the anti-colonial movement threatened to split at the beginning of the 1960s. a. into a group of anti-western states (Casablanca group) and into a pro-western camp (Monrovia group). In order to overcome this threatening political split, the then independent African states united in Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963 to form the OAU.
Despite frequent tensions and conflicts between the member states and the simultaneously pursued principle of non-interference in internal affairs, the OAU was able to maintain its cohesion. A special summit in 1980 approved the “Lagos Action Plan” for the economic development of Africa. The “African Human and International Rights Commission” created within the framework of the OAU began its work in 1989. In 1991, the members of the OAU in Abuja (Nigeria) agreed on the creation of an African Economic Community (AEC), which should unite the continent through regional associations to form a single economic area by 2025. The Treaty on a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Africa (Treaty of Pelindaba ) was signed in 1996 by 49 of the 53 OAU members. At the 1999 summit, the OAU states committed themselves to foregoing threats of violence among one another in the future and to using peaceful means to resolve conflicts.
In May 2001, the OAU was formally converted into the African Union (AU) after the AU’s founding acts were adopted by the heads of state and government of the OAU in July 2000 in Lomé (Togo). The last OAU summit took place from July 10 to 12, 2001 in Lusaka (Zambia).
African Union (English African Union, AU abbreviation), a union of states founded in2002 as the successor organization to the OAU (Organization of African Unity) with its headquarters in Addis Ababa. All African states are united in the organization with the aim of building a community of states along the lines of the European Union.