African Union (AU)


The African Union is an organization made up of 55 governments from the continent of Africa. In order to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the African Union was established.

The GS-II section of the IAS Exam includes the key subject of the African Union. The history of the African Union (AU) and its governing bodies will be covered in this page.

Most recent African Union context

The African Union Commission (AUC) hosted the 34th African Union Summit digitally from February 6–7, 2021. “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa We Want” was the focus of the AU Summit in 2021.

Important Moments from the AU Summit in 2021
  • A Report on the AU’s Institutional Reform
  • Elections and appointments to the Leadership of the AU Commission;
  • Report on the status of the African Union’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

The African Union Executive Council ministerial meeting on February 4, 2021, nominated six new board members to the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption

The historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) served as a milestone for the 2020 AU Summit.

What is AfCFTA?
  • The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to accelerate the creation of the Continental Customs Union and the African Customs Union by establishing a single continental market for goods and services with free trade in people and capital. Since the World Trade Organization was founded in 1995, it creates the largest free trade region in the world.
  • AfCFTA’s initial work focuses on initiatives including supply chains, incremental tariff reduction, the removal of non-tariff obstacles, and dispute resolution.
  • AfCFTA will have an international impact in a world that is becoming more and more dependent on African markets and commodities.
Origin of African Union

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded on May 25, 1963, when 32 leaders of independent African nations in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, signed the OUA Charter. With a major emphasis on the freedom, justice, equality, and dignity of the African people, this project was seen as a pan-Asian vision for a united and liberated Africa. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU)’s primary goals were to free the African governments from colonialism and to advance solidarity and unity.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Heads of State and Government issued the Sirte Declaration on September 9th, 1999, calling for the creation of an African Union to enable Africa’s participation in the global economy. As a result, the African Union (AU) was formally established in Durban, South Africa, in July 2002.

The African Union was founded as a result of four summits, which were:

  • A decision to create an African Union was made in 1999 during the Sirte Extraordinary Session.
  • The Union’s Constitutive Act was enacted at the Lome Summit in 2000.
  • The implementation roadmap for the AU was created at the Lusaka Summit in 2001.
  • The African Union was established and the first Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union was called at the Durban Summit in 2002.
Vision of African Union

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was relaunched as the African Union in order to realize Africa’s potential in the battle against colonialism, with a major emphasis on greater integration and cooperation among African states for economic development.

The AU is motivated by its own people and guided by its vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and integrated Africa as a driving force in the world economy.

Objectives of African Union

The African Union Constitutive Act and the Protocol on Amendments to the African Union Constitutive Act lay out the goals of the organization.

  • Achieving more solidarity and togetherness among the African nations and people.
  • Defending the 55 Member States’ independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
  • Accelerating the political and socioeconomic stability of the continent of Africa.
  • African shared viewpoints on issues that concern the continent and its people should be promoted and defended.
  • Fostering global collaboration and advancing the continent’s peace, security, and stability
  • Fostering democratic values and structures, including popular engagement, in the continent’s governance
  • Its bargaining positions are strengthened by the development and promotion of shared policies in the areas of trade, defense, and international relations.
  • As a significant component of our Continent, the African Diaspora should be invited and encouraged to fully participate in the creation of the African Union.
  • In accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, protect human rights.
  • To ensure the social, economic, and cultural sustainability of the continent.
  • The growth of science and technology for the continent’s development.



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