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The African Union

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 29, 2012 Inauguration of the New African Union Conference Center Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The OAU initiatives paved the way for the birth of AU. In July 1999, the Assembly decided to convene an extraordinary session to expedite the process of economic and political integration in the continent. Since then, four Summits have been held leading to the official launching of the African Union. The African  Union has shifted focus from supporting  liberation movements in the erstwhile African territories under colonialism and  apartheid, as envisaged by the OAU since 1963 and the Constitutive Act, to an organization spear-heading Africa’s development and integration.

The Objectives of the AU

  • To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa;
  • To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States;
  • To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;
  • To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples;
  • 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;
  • To promote and protect human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments;
  • To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations;
  • To promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies;
  • To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples;
  • To coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union;
  • To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology;
  • To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.