|English name||African Union|
|French name||Union Africaine|
|Organization type||Regional cooperation|
|Seat of the organs||
Addis Ababa , Ethiopia (Headquarters)
Midrand ,South Africa ( Parliament )
|Secretary General||Moussa Faki (Chairman of the Commission)|
|Official and working languages||* Arabic|
|population||1.1 billion (2014)|
|Population density||38.9 inhabitants per km²|
|gross domestic product||1.971 billion US dollars
(2013 estimate, nominal)
$ 2,538 billion
|Gross domestic product per inhabitant||$ 1,503
|founding||May 25, 1963 (as OAU )
July 9, 2002 (as AU)
|Currencies||different currencies , single currency Afro planned|
|anthem||Let Us All Unite and Celebrate Together|
|Time zone||UTC − 1 to UTC + 4|
|Subsidiary organizations||* African Court of Human Rights and the Rights of the Peoples (ACHPR)
The African Union ( Arabic الاتحاد الأفريقي, DMG al-Ittiḥād al-Ifrīqī , English African Union , French Union africaine , Portuguese União Africana , Spanish Unión Africana , Swahili Umoja wa Afrika ) is an international organization that succeeded the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 2002 and should work for cooperation in all areas . It is an amalgamation of initially 53 and now 55 African states ( Western Sahara is a member of the African Union, but its status under international law is controversial). Member States of the AU are all internationally recognized African states, including Western Sahara. Morocco was re-admitted to the organization on January 30, 2017 after a 33-year absence.
History and Development
The organization was created through the formal adoption of a founding letter of intent at the 4th OAU Special Session on September 9, 1999 in Sirte , Libya . The document on which this decision is based is called the Sirte Declaration . In Lomé ( Togo ) the representatives of the 36th regular summit meeting on July 11, 2000 passed the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
The action plan for the transition to the new organization, defined for the period from July 11, 2001 to July 10, 2002, was a resolution of the summit meeting in Lusaka ( Zambia ) in July 2001 . With the joint summit (First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU) of the heads of state in the African Union and the African Economic Community between 9 and 11 July 2002 in Durban , South Africa , the African Union resumed its regular work on.
The African Union replaced the Organization for African Unity (OAU) at the will of the signatory states and was given more powers than this. The treaties, which include the dissolution of the OAU, which was founded on May 25, 1963, had already been ratified by 45 of the 54 states. Morocco , which left its predecessor organization OAU in 1984 due to the conflict over the Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara , was accepted as a member of the African Union in January 2017 after three decades.
The initiative to found the new African Union goes back to the Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar al-Gaddafi . He had vehemently advocated the idea of a union and promoted it to the African heads of state at great expense. The founding treaty of the African Union (Constitutive Act) is primarily based on the example of the European Union (EU). Other founding acts contain, among other things, declarations on the respect for human rights and the sovereignty of the member states, but also a paragraph on the intervention of the Union in member states under certain conditions. Article 30 of the founding treaty ties in with the domestic legitimacy of the state authority of the member states. Accordingly, governments that have come to power unconstitutionally are to be excluded from participating in the activities of the African Union. In accordance with Article 33 (1) of the founding treaty, the African Economic Community was also incorporated into the AU.
Organs and organizations
The institutions of the Union are listed in Article 5 of the founding act and are specified in further articles. In addition to the explicitly mentioned organs - Union Assembly as the highest organ (Art. 6 ff.), Executive Council (Art. 10 ff.), Pan-African Parliament (Art. 17), Court of Justice (Art. 18), Commission (Art. 20), more permanent Representative Committee (Art. 21), seven special committees for technology (Art. 14 f.), Economic, Social and Cultural Council (Art. 22) and the three financial institutions African Central Bank , African Monetary Fund and African Investment Bank (Art. 19) - the General Assembly reserves the right to set up additional organs.
In addition, the provisions of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community apply , such as Art. 18 with regard to the Court of Justice.
The first chairman of the African Union Commission, the former Secretary General of the OAU and former Foreign Minister of the Ivory Coast Amara Essy , was elected to his post at the summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
In February 2003 the AU agreed to set up an African Standby Force (ASF) and an AU Security Council modeled on the United Nations with the right to intervene, which was officially established on May 25, 2004. In 2008 the ASF was deployed in the Comoros .
In March 2004 the first session of the Pan-African Parliament within the AU was officially opened. The first speaker of parliament is Gertrude Mongella from Tanzania . The AU parliament has an advisory function and is based in the South African city of Midrand , where the first working session took place on September 16, 2004.
Since December 2004 the AU has been involved for three years with the peace-monitoring mission AMIS and since December 2007 with UNAMID (together with the United Nations ) in the crisis region of Darfur in Sudan .
The African Energy Commission was founded for the energy industry .
For the jointly coordinated prevention and control of epidemics in Africa, the AU founded the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) with its currently five regional centers on the continent.
The African Statistical Yearbook (ASYB) (German: "Statistisches Jahrbuch Afrikas ") lists statistical data from the member countries of the African Union. It is a product created under the direction of the African Statistical Coordination Committee (ASCC). The statistical data it contains are the result of the collaboration between the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to reduce the risk of inconsistent information that would otherwise be produced by the three organizations , and also reduces the reporting obligation of the Member States, which would otherwise be obliged to transmit data separately to each institution, which saves costs, time and increases the statistical quality and overview. Central coordination lies with the African Center for Statistics of the United Nations . The yearbook is produced at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa under the editorship of the ECA. In 2017, the AU published its own Labor Migration Statics Report for the first time .
Members of the AU
Due to the European - colonial past of Africa, one or more European lingua franca are used in most member states in addition to the traditionally used languages. The most widespread in this regard are French (especially in the north and west) and English (especially in the east and south), which also function as the AU's working languages. The largest economy in Africa is South Africa, which together with those of Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco generates almost two thirds of the total AU gross domestic product (gross regional product ). The populations of the member countries are very different in size. Nigeria has the highest proportion of their total, followed by Ethiopia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa. It is expected that 1.5 billion people will live on the continent by 2025 and almost twice as many by 2050. The life expectancy was in 2013 at just 59 years, making it a global comparison very low. Accordingly, the proportion of over 60-year-olds was low at 4%, while 41% of the population were under 15-year-olds.
|Country||Capital||population||surface||GDP (million USD; 2016)||Official language (s)||Accession
(to OAU or AU)
|African Union||Addis Ababa||22.214.171.1249||100||30.093.154||100||2,365,243 (2018)||Arabic , English , French , Portuguese , Spanish , Swahili , any other African language||-|
|Egypt||Cairo||97.553.151||7.77||1,001,449||3.33||266,653||Arabic||May 25, 1963|
|Algeria||Algiers||41,318,142||3.29||2,381,741||7.91||153,515||Arabic, Kabyle||May 25, 1963|
|Angola||Luanda||29,784,193||2.37||1,246,700||4.14||108,746||Portuguese||Feb. 11, 1975|
|Equatorial Guinea||Malabo||1,267,689||0.10||28.051||0.09||10,680||Portuguese, Spanish , French||Oct 12, 1968|
|Ethiopia||Addis Ababa||104,957,438||8.35||1,127,127||3.75||65,691||Amharic||May 25, 1963|
|Benin||Porto-Novo||11,175,692||0.89||112,620||0.37||8,025||French||May 25, 1963|
|Botswana||Gaborone||2,291,661||0.18||582,000||1.93||14,176||English , Setswana||Oct 31, 1966|
|Burkina Faso||Ouagadougou||19.193.382||1.53||274.200||0.91||10,668||French||May 25, 1963|
|Burundi||Bujumbura||10,864,245||0.86||27,834||0.09||2,732||English, French, Kirundi||May 25, 1963|
|Djibouti||Djibouti||956.985||0.08||23,200||0.08||1,710||Arabic, French||June 27, 1977|
|Ivory Coast||Yamoussoukro||24,294,750||1.93||322,461||1.07||33,031||French||May 25, 1963|
|Eritrea||Asmara||5,068,831||0.40||121.144||0.40||5,235||Arabic, Tigrinya||May 24, 1993|
|Eswatini||Mbabane||1,367,254||0.11||17,363||0.06||3.813||English, Siswati||Sep 24 1968|
|Gabon||Libreville||2,025,137||0.16||267,667||0.89||13,149||French||May 25, 1963|
|Gambia||Banjul||2,100,568||0.17||11,295||0.04||934||English||March 9, 1965|
|Ghana||Accra||28,833,629||2.30||238,537||0.79||40,012||English||May 25, 1963|
|Guinea||Conakry||12,717,176||1.01||245.857||0.82||6,395||French||May 25, 1963|
|Guinea-Bissau||Bissau||1,861,283||0.15||36,125||0.12||1.103||Portuguese||Nov 19, 1973|
|Cameroon||Yaoundé||24,053,727||1.91||475,442||1.58||29,639||English France||May 25, 1963|
|Cape Verde||Praia||546,388||0.04||4.033||0.01||1,403||Portuguese||18th July 1975|
|Kenya||Nairobi||49,699,862||3.97||582,646||1.94||66,596||English, Swahili||Dec 13, 1963|
|Comoros||Moroni||813.912||0.06||1,862||0.01||1,129||Arabic, French, Comorian||18th July 1975|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Kinshasa||81,339,988||6.47||2,345,410||7.79||37,675||French||May 25, 1963|
|Republic of the Congo||Brazzaville||5,260,750||0.42||342,000||1.14||7,505||French||May 25, 1963|
|Lesotho||Maseru||2,233,339||0.18||30,355||0.10||2,020||English, Sesotho||Oct 31, 1966|
|Liberia||Monrovia||4,731,906||0.38||111,370||0.37||2,999||English||May 25, 1963|
|Libya||Tripoli||6,374,616||0.51||1,775,500||5.90||40.209||Arabic||May 25, 1963|
|Madagascar||Antananarivo||25,570,895||2.03||587.041||1.95||10,517||French, Malagasy||May 25, 1963|
|Malawi||Lilongwe||18,622,104||1.48||118,480||0.39||4,780||Chichewa , English||July 13, 1964|
|Mali||Bamako||18,541,980||1.48||1,240,192||4.12||12,942||French||May 25, 1963|
|Morocco||Rabat||35,739,580||2.84||446,550||1.48||91,358||Arabic, Moroccan Tamazight||May 25, 1963 /
January 31, 2017
|Mauritania||Nouakchott||4,420,184||0.35||1,030,700||3.43||4,292||Arabic||May 25, 1963|
|Mauritius||Port Louis||1,265,138||0.10||2,040||0.01||10,841||English||Aug 1968|
|Mozambique||Maputo||29,668,834||2.36||801.590||2.66||10.214||Portuguese||18th July 1975|
|Niger||Niamey||21,477,348||1.71||1,267,000||4.21||7.096||French||May 25, 1963|
|Nigeria||Abuja||190.886.311||15.20||923,768||3.07||400,365||English||May 25, 1963|
|Rwanda||Kigali||12.208.407||0.97||26,338||0.09||7,876||English, French, Kinyarwanda , Swahili||May 25, 1963|
|Zambia||Lusaka||17.094.130||1.36||752.614||2.50||20,090||English||Dec 16, 1964|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Sao Tome||204,327||0.01||1,001||0.00||334||Portuguese||18th July 1975|
|Senegal||Dakar||15,850,567||1.26||197,722||0.66||12,725||French||May 25, 1963|
|Seychelles||Victoria||94,737||0.01||455||0.00||1,196||English, French, Seychelles Creole||June 29, 1976|
|Sierra Leone||Freetown||7,557,212||0.60||71,740||0.24||3,568||English||May 25, 1963|
|Zimbabwe||Harare||16,529,904||1.32||390.757||1.30||14,263||Chewa , Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Khoisan , Nambya, Ndau, Nord-Ndebele , Shangani , Sotho , Shona , Tonga , Tswana , Venda , Xhosa||June 18, 1980|
|Somalia c||Mogadishu||14,742,523||1.17||637.657||2.12||1,158||Arabic, Somali||May 25, 1963|
|56.717.156||4.52||1,219,912||4.05||263,648||Afrikaans , English, South Ndebele , isiXhosa , isiZulu , North Sotho , Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati , Tshivenda , Xitsonga||June 6, 1994|
|Sudan||Khartoum||40,533,330||3.23||1,886,068||6.26||83.004||Arabic, English||May 25, 1963|
|South Sudan||Juba||12,575,714||1.00||619.745||2.06||6,444||English||July 27, 2011|
|Tanzania||Dodoma||57.310.019||4.57||945.087||3.14||45,548||English, Swahili||May 25, 1963|
|Togo||Lomé||7,797,694||0.62||56,785||0.19||3,880||French||May 25, 1963|
|Chad||N'Djamena||14,899,994||1.19||1,284,000||4.27||10,418||Arabic, French||May 25, 1963|
|Tunisia||Tunis||11,532,127||0.92||163,610||0.54||38,955||Arabic||May 25, 1963|
|Uganda||Kampala||42,862,958||3.42||241.040||0.80||23,294||English, Swahili||May 25, 1963|
|Western Sahara d||El Aaiún (de jure)||552,628||0.04||266,000||0.9||-||Arabic, Spanish||Feb 22, 1982|
|Central African Republic||Bangui||4,659,080||0.37||622.984||2.07||1,780||French, sango||May 25, 1963|
b Share of GDP in 2009.
c Due to the ongoing civil war, data from Somalia are roughly estimated (with the exception of GDP).
d Unlike the AU as a whole, most member states do not recognize the republic (only 19 AU states recognize it, 17 others have withdrawn previous recognition).
The territory claimed by a government-in-exile in Algeria is almost completely under the control of Morocco.
- Due to the military coup in Mauritania , this member state was temporarily excluded from the AU on August 5, 2005 "until constitutional order was restored", but was initially rehabilitated in 2007. After another military coup on August 6, 2008, the AU decided to make preparations again for the country's membership to be suspended.
- In December 2008, Guinea's membership was also suspended because of a military coup. This suspension was lifted in December 2010 because the country had returned to constitutional order.
- Madagascar was suspended after the 2009 coup . The African Union accepted Madagascar again as a full member after new elections on January 28, 2014.
- In November 2009, Eritrea recalled its ambassador to the AU. In May of the same year, the AU called for sanctions against Eritrea because of its support for Islamists in Somalia .
- On February 20, 2010, Niger was suspended because of the military coup. After holding parliamentary elections and electing Mahamadou Issoufou as the new president in early 2011, the AU lifted the suspension in March 2011.
- According to Ivorian presidential election, 2010 membership was Ivory Coast suspended while Laurent Gbagbo not the presidency to Alassane Ouattara übergäbe. This took place on May 21, 2011.
- Because of the Malian coup in 2012 , Mali was suspended for a few months. After the coup in August 2020 , membership was suspended again.
- After the coup on March 24, 2013, the Central African Republic was suspended on March 25. The suspension was lifted in April 2016.
- After a military coup , Egypt was suspended in July 2013. In 2014, following the first general election after the coup, the suspension was lifted.
- On June 6, 2019, Sudan was suspended because paramilitaries killed numerous citizens who had demonstrated for democratic change in the course of the change in power there . Exactly three months later, Sudan was resumed after the formation of a transitional government.
- Morocco left the OAU in 1984 because of the Western Sahara conflict. On September 22, 2016, an official application for membership was submitted to the AU. On January 30, 2017, the country was admitted to the AU.
- Somaliland , which declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991 without international recognition, applied for membership in 2005, which was initially not processed.
Other key figures
Due to the large number of members of the AU, some data are listed regionally (population data as of 2020. Spatial definitions may vary depending on the source):
CO 2 -
|North africa||244||1.8%||−1 ‰||74||139 t||78,814 ha|
|East Africa||445||2.8%||−1 ‰||65||17 t||73,197 ha|
|Southern Africa||68||1.0%||−3 ‰||64||128 t||194,320 ha|
|West Africa||401||2.7%||−1 ‰||58||33 t||73,234 ha|
|Central Africa||180||3.3%||−1 ‰||60||14 t||254,854 ha|
|total||1,338||2.5%||−1 ‰||64||331 t||674,419 ha|
A permanent change towards democratic stability is endangered in some countries by armed conflicts, political, religious and ethnic tensions, border disputes and unstable state structures. Also, corruption , capital flight , debt , dependence on global commodity markets, international exploitation of natural mineral resources , brain drain and unjust rules of global trade to slow progress in the areas of government, society and economy. In addition, almost 40 percent of the population live without an adequate water supply, and almost 70 percent without adequate sanitation.
Nevertheless, in the first decade of the 21st century, the continent experienced the longest period of growth since the 1960s. The average growth rate was almost six percent, and several African countries were among the world's fastest growing economies. The global financial and economic crisis also only resulted in a brief slowdown in growth in sub-Saharan Africa . According to the World Bank, it was 5.1% in 2010. For 2018, the World Bank reported growth of 2.8%. This means that the economic growth of the sub-Saharan region was higher than that of the continental population, which was 2.7 percent in the same year.
Another task is the lack of medical care in many rural areas of Africa and the serious effects of the immune deficiency disease AIDS and other infectious diseases such as malaria , tuberculosis and Ebola . This problem is exacerbated by the move of trained doctors from individual regions to developed countries. For example, the number of doctors treating urgent needs - as with the Ebola epidemic from 2014 - is very small.
President of the African Union
|Term of office||President||Member State|
|July 2002 - July 2003||Thabo Mbeki||South Africa|
|July 2003 - July 2004||Joaquim Alberto Chissano||Mozambique|
|July 2004 - January 2006||Olusegun Obasanjo||Nigeria|
|Jan. 2006 - Jan. 2007||Denis Sassou-Nguesso||Republic of the Congo|
|Jan. 2007 - Feb. 2008||John Agyekum Kufuor||Ghana|
|Feb 2008 - Jan 2009||Jakaya Kikwete||Tanzania|
|Feb 2009 - Jan 2010||Muammar al-Gaddafi||Libya|
|Jan. 2010 - Jan. 2011||Bingu wa Mutharika||Malawi|
|Jan. 2011 - Jan. 2012||Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo||Equatorial Guinea|
|Jan. 2012 - Jan. 2013||Bonuses yayi||Benin|
|Jan. 2013 - Jan. 2014||Hailemariam Desalegn||Ethiopia|
|Jan. 2014 - Jan. 2015||Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz||Mauritania|
|Jan. 2015 - Jan. 2016||Robert Mugabe||Zimbabwe|
|Jan. 2016 - Jan. 2017||Idriss Déby||Chad|
|Jan. 2017 - Jan. 2018||Alpha Condé||Guinea|
|Jan. 2018 - Feb. 2019||Paul Kagame||Rwanda|
|Feb. 2019 - Feb. 2020||Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi||Egypt|
|Feb 2020 - Feb 2021||Cyril Ramaphosa||South Africa|
|since February 6, 2021||Félix Tshisekedi||Democratic Republic of Congo|
African Union Commission
The commission takes on executive tasks. It consists of eight commissioners, a chairman and a vice-chairman.
|Area of responsibility||Surname||Member State|
|Deputy Chairman||Thomas Kwesi Quartey||Ghana|
|Political affairs||Cessouma Minata Samate||Burkina Faso|
|Social affairs||Amira El Fadil||Sudan|
|Trade and industry||Albert M. Muchanga||Zambia|
|Economic affairs||Victor Harrison||Madagascar|
|peace and security||Smail Chergui||Algeria|
|Infrastructure and energy||Amani Abou-Zeid||Egypt|
|Human Resources, Science and Technology||Agbor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang||Cameroon|
|Rural economy and agriculture||Sacko Josefa Leonel Correa||Angola|
|Term of office||Chairperson||Member State|
|2002-2003||Amara Essy (Interim)||Ivory Coast|
|2003-2008||Alpha Oumar Konare||Mali|
|2012-2017||Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma||South Africa|
|since 2017||Moussa Faki||Chad|
- African Union passport
- African Continental Free Trade Area
- African peace and security architecture
- Green wall
- Libyan-Arab-African unification projects
- Arab Maghreb (North African) Union
- Community of the Sahel-Saharan States
- West African Economic Community
- West African Economic and Monetary Union
- Central African Economic and Monetary Community
- Central African Economic Community
- Central African Union
- International Conference on the Great Lakes Region
- Intergovernmental Authority on Development
- Afro-Madagascar Union
- East African Community
- Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa
- Customs Union of Southern Africa
- South African Development Community
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