What is the African Union (AU)?


01:28 PM

1 min read
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The African Union recently condemned the Israeli military's moves into southern Gaza's Rafah, calling for the international community to stop "this deadly escalation" of the war.

About African Union (AU):

  • It 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.
  • The AU is guided by its vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous, and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
  • To ensure the realisation of its objectives and the attainment of the Pan African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, Agenda 2063 was developed as a strategic framework for Africa’s long term socio-economic and integrative transformation.
    • Agenda 2063 calls for greater collaboration and support for African led initiatives to ensure the achievement of the aspirations of African people.
    • 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 the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC)?

ECOSOCC is an advisory organ designed to amplify the voice of African Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the decision-making processes of the African Union (AU). Composed of one hundred and fifty (150) different social and professional groups of AU Member States, ECOSOCC provides African Civil Society Organisations the opportunity to play an active role in contributing to the AU’s principles, policies, and programmes.

Source: African Union 'firmly condemns' Israeli incursion into Rafah