AU - African Union

Comprehensive Guide to AU

AU: African Union

African Union, short for AU by abbreviationfinder, is a regional organization of 54 African countries and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (d. E. All African countries). The AU is based in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The AU replaced the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

From OAU to AU: An OAU special summit from September 6th to 9th, 1999 in Sirte (Libya) stimulated on the initiative of M. al-Gaddhafi the foundation of the AU on the model of the European Union. The founding act, which is committed to democracy and human rights, the promotion of African unity, the joint management of crises and conflicts as well as the responsibility in war, was adopted at the OAU summit conference from July 11th to 12th, 2000 in Lomé (Togo) adopted, signed in Sirte on March 2, 2001 by 52 OAU states (membership of the Comoros was suspended) and entered into force on May 26, 2001 after ratification by 36 OAU states. The OAU was then formally converted into the AU. At the same time, a two-year transition period began in which the OAU and AU co-existed in order to adapt the structures of the OAU to those of the AU. At the 37th OAU summit from 10 to 12 July 2001 in Lusaka (Zambia) it was decided to fully establish the AU within two years. The founding congress of the AU took place from July 8th to July 10th, 2002 in Durban.

Main organs: The assembly of heads of state and government as the highest organ meets at least once a year, makes decisions (with a two-thirds majority) and monitors their implementation; In addition, it elects the AU chairman, who usually changes annually from among its ranks. The Executive Council, which meets at least twice a year, is composed of the foreign ministers of the member states and is responsible for implementing the resolutions of the assembly of heads of state and government. The Pan-African Parliament with its seat in Midrand (South Africa) was set up in March 2004, consists of five representatives each elected by the parliaments of the AU member states and currently only has an advisory role. The ambassadors of the AU states are represented in the standing committee of representatives. The AU commission consists of 10 representatives (including the chairman and vice-chairman) who are elected by the assembly of heads of state and government for a four-year term (a maximum of eight years possible); Moussa Faki (* 1961), former Foreign Minister of Chad, has been chairman of the AU Commission since 2017. The AU Peace and Security Council, which is part of this commission consists of 15 members (ten members elected for two years, five members for three years); it is intended to be effective in the context of crisis and conflict prevention and has the option of intervening (including by military means) in the event of crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide. The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) is the mouthpiece of civil society and has an advisory function. Other organs of the AU include: a central bank and the African Court of Human Rights and the Rights of the Peoples based in Arusha, Tanzania. The membership of states has been suspended on various occasions. In January 2017, Morocco was admitted to the African Union, which had left the OAU, the predecessor organization of the AU, with effect from 1985 after the admission of the Democratic Arab Republic of Sahara.

AU - African Union


NEPAD, short for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development [nju ː p ɑ ː tnə ʃ ɪ p f ɔ AEFr ɪ kəs d ɪ veləpmənt] New Partnership for Africa’s Development, name for a five African countries (Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa) at the last OAU (Organization of African Unity) program initiated in Lusaka (Zambia) in July 2001 and adopted by the African Union to help Africa achieve sustainable political, social and economic development in the medium and long term. NEPAD is headed by the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) of the heads of state and government of 20 AU members (the 5 NEPAD founding states and 15 other states in a two-year rotation), whose representatives act as the Steering Committee (steering committee) develop the programs and enable and coordinate their implementation with the help of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency. The success of NEPAD so far is that the African states were able to agree on a common goal for economic, social and political development progress, in which own reform needs were combined with demands on the rest of the international community. In this way, reform-minded governments, which formed a hopeful leadership group within the AU, assured one another of mutual support. Overcoming the resistance to fundamental reforms and enabling democratic structures as well as the hoped-for impetus for comprehensive continental development has not yet been achieved with NEPAD, as there are no enforcement mechanisms.

About the author