ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (OAU)
LESSONS FOR PAKISTAN / SOUTH ASIA
The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was established in 1963 as a Continent wide Organization with the purpose of fostering politico social as well as economic unity and help winning independence for countries of Africa that were still colonized. With a mixed history of performance and at times even being labelled as mere “talking shop” or “trade union of the dictators”, it breathed its last on 9 July 2002, when it was formally disbanded by its last Chairman. The OAU was, however not sacrificed for nothing as after redressing its shortfalls it evolved into African Union i.e. AU. In depth research has ...view middle of the document...
Soon after achieving independence in early 1950s, a number of African states expressed a growing desire for more unity within the continent. Not everyone was agreed on how this unity could be achieved. Two opinion groups emerged in this respect:-
a. The Casablanca Bloc. Led by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, wanted a federation of all African countries. It comprised also Algeria, Guinea, Morocco, Egypt, Mali and Libya. Its members were described as "progressive states".
b. The Monrovian Bloc. Led by Senghor of Senegal, felt that unity should be achieved gradually, through economic cooperation. It did not support the notion of a political federation. Its other members were Nigeria, Liberia, Ethiopia and most of the former French colonies.
The dispute was eventually resolved when Haile Selassie, invited the two groups to Addis Ababa in 1963 and charter of OAU was signed.
Aims / Objectives
From Origin till Disbandment of AOU – 2002
a. Primary Aims
1) To promote the unity and solidarity of the African states and act as a collective voice for the African continent.
2) To secure Africa's long-term economic and political future.
3) To eradicate colonialism or minority-rule. South Africa and Angola were two such countries. Proposed ways were:-
a) It would defend the interests of independent countries and help to pursue of those still-colonized.
b) Adopt neutrality in world affairs to prevent members being controlled once more by outside powers.
c) A Liberation Committee was established.
b. Other Aims
1) Ensure that all Africans enjoyed human rights.
2) Raise the living standards of all Africans.
3) Settle arguments and disputes between members –through peaceful and diplomatic negotiation.
As AU. AU succeeded the OAU in 2002. Conceived by Muammar Gaddafi, who proposed a "United States of Africa", its structure is loosely modelled on that of the European Union. At the time of the OAU's disbanding, 53 out of the 54 African states were members; Morocco left on 12 November 1984 following the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as the government of Western Sahara. Aims and purposes of the AU were generally the same as that of OAU, with major shift as given in 4th and 5th points below:-
a. To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration.
b. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its people.
c. To promote democracy, good governance and human rights.
d. To achieve peace and security in Africa.
e. The AU believes that conflicts must be settled before there can be a chance of achieving prosperity.
a. Annual budget: $43 million (2004 figure).
b. 2000: AU constitution signed in Lome, Togo.