What is the African Union (AU)?

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Prelims: International Relations & Institutions
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India's G-20 Sherpa recently said that the Indian Prime Minister’s proposal to make the African Union a permanent member of the G-20 has received an overwhelming response from the grouping.

About African Union (AU):


  • The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent.
  • It was officially launched in 2002 and replaced its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was founded in 1963.
  • Primary Objective: To promote unity, cooperation, and development among African nations while advancing the continent's interests on the global stage.
  • It aims to strengthen political, economic, and social integration among African countries, with a vision of achieving an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa.
  • Headquarters: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Structure:
    • Assembly: It is the highest decision-making body, consisting of the heads of state and government of member countries.
    • Executive Council: Made up of foreign affairs ministers, handles policy matters and makes recommendations to the Assembly.
    • AU Commission: Headquartered in Addis Ababa, is the administrative arm responsible for implementing the decisions of the Assembly and the Executive Council.
    • The Peace and Security Council: Responsible for maintaining peace and security on the continent.
    • The AU structure promotes the participation of African citizens and civil society through the Pan-African Parliament and the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).


Q1) What is G-20?

The G-20, also known as the Group of Twenty, is an international forum comprising 19 individual countries and the European Union (EU). It brings together the world's major advanced and emerging economies to discuss and coordinate economic and financial policies. The G-20 member countries represent around two-thirds of the world's population, over 80% of global GDP, and about 75% of international trade. The G-20 was established in 1999, in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, to promote global economic stability and cooperation.

Source: Overwhelming response to PM's proposal of making African Union permanent member of G-20: Amitabh Kant