(AU), international organization established in 2002 by the nations of the former Organization of African Unity
(OAU). The AU is the successor organization to the OAU, with greater powers to promote African economic, social, and political integration, and a stronger commmitment to democratic principles. The 53 nations of Africa are all members; the AU's headquarters are at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Designed somewhat along the lines of the European Union
, the AU, when fully realized, will have a General Assembly, Executive Council, Pan-African Parliament, African Central Bank (and eventual common currency), African Monetary Fund, and other organs and agencies. The Constitutive Act of the AU was adopted at Lomé, Togo, in 2000, the act was ratified in 2001, and in July the OAU held its last summit as the AU came into existence. The OAU continued to function, however, during a yearlong transition period, until the first official summit of the AU was held in July, 2002. The Pan-African Parliament, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, was inaugurated in 2004, initially as a purely advisory body; the Peace and Security Council was established later the same year.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press