Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 southern African states. SADC has 16 member states: The Union of Comoros was admitted into SADC at the 37th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2017, bringing the total number of Member States to 16. Additionally, Burundi has requested to join; the origins of SADC are in the 1960s and 1970s, when the leaders of majority-ruled countries and national liberation movements coordinated their political and military struggles to bring an end to colonial and white-minority rule in southern Africa. The immediate forerunner of the political and security cooperation leg of today's SADC was the informal Frontline States grouping, it was formed in 1980. The Southern African Development Coordination Conference was the forerunner of the socio-economic cooperation leg of today's SADC.
The adoption by nine majority-ruled southern African countries of the Lusaka declaration on 1 April 1980 paved the way for the formal establishment of SADCC in April 1980. Membership of the FLS and SADCC sometimes differed. SADCC was transformed into SADC on 17 August 1992, with the adoption by the founding members of SADCC and newly independent Namibia of the Windhoek declaration and treaty establishing SADC; the 1992 SADC provided for political and security cooperation. In reality, the FLS was dissolved only after South Africa's first democratic elections. Subsequent efforts to place political and security cooperation on a firm institutional footing under SADC's umbrella failed. On 14 August 2001, the 1992 SADC treaty was amended; the amendment heralded the overhaul of the structures and procedures of SADC, a process, ongoing. One of the changes is that political and security cooperation is institutionalised in the Organ on Politics and Security. One of the principal SADC bodies, it is subject to the oversight of the organisation's supreme body, the Summit, which comprises the heads of state or government.
The organisation holds its own multi-sport event in the form of the SADC Games, first held in 2004 in Maputo. Planned for an earlier date in Malawi and Lesotho, organisational issues led to abandonment of the plan and the SADC issuing a fine of $100,000 against Malawi; the first event in 2004 in Maputo resulted in over 1000 youths under-20 from 10 countries taking part in a sports programme including athletics, netball and basketball. SADC has 27 binding protocols dealing with issues such as Defence, Illicit Drug Trade, Free Trade and Movement of People. Protocol on Energy – Intended to promote harmonious development of national energy policies; these development strategies set out tangible objectives for SADC and its Member States for infrastructure development in energy and its subsectors of woodfuel and natural gas, goal, renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation. Protocol on Gender and Development – Member states are urged to accelerate implementation efforts towards the achievements of concrete and transformative changes in the lives of women and girls in our region.
H. E. President Mutharika expressed concern on the escalating incidents of gender based violence in the region those perpetrated against women and girls, used this occasion to sign a commitment to end child marriages, as part of the AU campaign to end Child Marriages in Africa. Protocol on Politics and Security Co-operation - Intended to foster regional security and defence cooperation, promote peace, political stability and conflict-management; the protocol initiated an institutional reform of the SADC's Organ for Politics and Security. The SADC Free Trade Area was established in August 2008, after the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade in 2000 laid the foundation for its formation, its original members were Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with Malawi and Seychelles joining later. Of the 15 SADC member states, only Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo are not yet participating, however Angolan trade minister Joffre Van-Dúnen Júnior said in Luanda that his ministry is working to create conditions for Angola’s accession to the SADC Free Trade Area in 2019.
The SADC-Customs Union, scheduled to be established by 2010 according to SADC's Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, is unlikely to become reality in the near future. This is because the European Union's Economic Partnership Agreements with their inherent extra-regional freetrade regimes provided for several SADC members more benefits than deeper regional market integration within the framework of a SADC-Customs Union. Since these SADC countries formed four different groupings to negotiate and implement different Economic Partnership Agreements with European Union, the chance to establish a SADC-wide common external tariff as prerequsite for a regional customs union is missed. On Wednesday 22 October 2008, SADC joined with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community to form the African Free Trade Zone, including all members of each of the organizations; the leaders of the three trading blocs agreed to create a single free trade zone, the African Free Trade Zone, consisting of 26 countries with a GDP of an estimated $624bn.
It is hoped the African Free Trade Zone agreement would ease access to markets within the zone and end problems arising from the fact that several of the memb
Organisation of African Unity
The Organisation of African Unity was established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with 32 signatory governments. One of the main heads for OAU's establishment was Kwame Nkrumah, it was disbanded on 9 July 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki, replaced by the African Union. Some of the key aims of the OAU were to encourage political and economic integration among member states, to eradicate colonialism and neo-colonialism from the African continent. Although it achieved some success, there were differences of opinion as to how, going to be achieved; the OAU was founded in May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by 32 African states with the main aim of bringing the African nations together and resolve the issues within the continent. Its first conference was held on 1st May 1963 at Addis Ababa. In that conference, the late Gambia historian, one of the leading Gambian nationalists and Pan-Africanists at the time—Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof delivered a speech in front of the member states—in which he said: "It is 75 years when the European Powers sat round the table in Germany each holding a dagger to carve up Africa for its own benefit.… Your success will inspire and speed up the freedom and total independence of the African continent and eradicate imperialism and colonialism from the continent and neo-colonialism from the globe… Your failure, which no true African in Africa is praying for, will prolong our struggle with bitterness and disappointment.
I therefore adjure that you ignore any suggestion outside Africa and holding that the present civilization, which some of the big powered are boasting of, sprang up from Africa, realising that the entire world has something earthly to learn from Africa, you would endeavour your utmost to come to agreement, save Africa from the clutches of neo-colonialism and resurrect African dignity and national stability." The OAU had the following primary aims: To co-ordinate and intensify the co-operation of African states in order to achieve a better life for the people of Africa. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African states; the OAU was dedicated to the eradication of all forms of colonialism and white minority rule as, when it was established, there were several states that had not yet won their independence or were white minority-ruled. South Africa and Angola were two such countries; the OAU proposed two ways of ridding the continent of colonialism and white minority rule.
Firstly, it would defend the interests of independent countries and help to pursue the independence those of still-colonised ones. Secondly, it would remain neutral in terms of world affairs, preventing its members from being controlled once more by outside powers. A Liberation Committee was established to aid independence movements and look after the interests of already-independent states; the OAU aimed to stay neutral in terms of global politics, which would prevent them from being controlled once more by outside forces – an especial danger with the Cold War. The OAU had other aims, too: Ensure. Raise the living standards of all Africans. Settle arguments and disputes between members – not through fighting but rather peaceful and diplomatic negotiation. Soon after achieving independence, a number of African states expressed a growing desire for more unity within the continent. Not everyone was agreed on how this unity could be achieved and two opinionated groups emerged in this respect: The Casablanca bloc, led by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, wanted a federation of all African countries.
Aside from Ghana, it comprised Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and Libya. Founded in 1961, its members were described as "progressive states"; the Monrovian bloc, led by Senghor of Senegal, felt that unity should be achieved through economic cooperation. It did not support the notion of a political federation, its other members were Nigeria, Liberia and most of the former French colonies. Some of the initial discussions took place at Liberia; the dispute was resolved when Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I invited the two groups to Addis Ababa, where the OAU and its headquarters were subsequently established. The Charter of the Organisation was signed by 32 independent African states. At the time of the OAU's disbanding, 53 out of the 54 African states were members; the organisation was derided as a bureaucratic "talking shop" with little power. It struggled to enforce its decisions, its lack of armed force made intervention exceedingly difficult. Civil wars in Nigeria and Angola continued unabated for years, the OAU could do nothing to stop them.
The policy of non-interference in the affairs of member states limited the effectiveness of the OAU. Thus, when human rights were violated, as in Uganda under Idi Amin in the 1970s, the OAU was powerless to stop them; the Organisation was praised by Ghanaian former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for bringing Africans together. In its 39 years of existence, critics argue that the OAU did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders dubbing it as a "Dictators' Club" or "Dictator's Trade Union"; the OAU was, successful in some respects. Many of its members were members of the UN, they stood together within the latter organisation to safeguard African interests – in respect of lingering colonialism, its pursuit of African unity, was in some ways successful. Total unity was difficult to
Chairperson of the African Union
The Chairperson of the African Union is the ceremonial head of the African Union elected by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a one-year term. It rotates among the continent's five regions. A candidate must be supported by consensus; the chairperson is expected to complete the term without interruption. In 2002, South African President Thabo Mbeki served as the inaugural chairman of the union; the post rotates annually amongst the five geographic regions of Africa. In January 2007, the assembly elected Ghanaian President John Kufuor over Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir due to the ongoing Conflict in Darfur; the government of Chad threatened to withdraw its membership. Some had suggested Tanzania as a compromise candidate from the East African region. By consensus, Ghana was elected instead as it was celebrating its 50th independence anniversary that year. In January 2010, Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi unsuccessfully tried to extend his tenure by an additional year, saying more time was needed in order to implement his vision for a United States of Africa - of which he was a strong proponent.
Libya was at the time one of the largest financial supporters of the AU. The election of Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in January 2011 was criticized by human rights activists as it undermined the AU's commitment to democracy. Congolese Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe have both led the AU and its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity during the terms 1986–88 and 2006–07, 1997–98 and 2015–16 respectively. In February 2019, South Africa was elected as the incoming chair and will take over in 2020; the incumbent is the ceremonial head of the AU and in this capacity, chairs the biannual summits and represents the continent in various international fora such as TICAD, FOCAC, G8 and G20 summits. The Chairperson is assisted by a bureau of four vice chairpersons including a rapporteur. Official website
East African Community
The East African Community is an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes region in eastern Africa: Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, is the EAC's chairman; the organisation was founded in 1967, collapsed in 1977, was revived on 7 July 2000. In 2008, after negotiations with the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the EAC agreed to an expanded free trade area including the member states of all three organizations; the EAC is an integral part of the African Economic Community. The EAC is a potential precursor to the establishment of the East African Federation, a proposed federation of its members into a single sovereign state. In 2010, the EAC launched its own common market for goods and capital within the region, with the goal of creating a common currency and a full political federation. In 2013, a protocol was signed outlining their plans for launching a monetary union within 10 years.
In September 2018 a committee was formed to begin the process of drafting a regional constitution. Kenya and Uganda have cooperated with each other since the early 20th century; the customs union between Kenya and Uganda in 1917, which Tanganyika joined in 1927, was followed by the East African High Commission from 1948 to 1961, the East African Common Services Organization from 1961 to 1967, the 1967 to 1977 EAC. Burundi and Rwanda joined the EAC on 6 July 2009. Inter-territorial co-operation between the Kenya Colony, the Uganda Protectorate, the Tanganyika Territory was formalised in 1948 by the EAHC; this provided a customs union, a common external tariff and postage. It dealt with common services in transport and communications and education. Following independence, these integrated activities were reconstituted and the EAHC was replaced by the EACSO, which many observers thought would lead to a political federation between the three territories; the new organisation ran into difficulties because of the lack of joint planning and fiscal policy, separate political policies, Kenya's dominant economic position.
In 1967, the EACSO was superseded by the EAC. This body aimed to strengthen the ties between the members through a common market, a common customs tariff, a range of public services to achieve balanced economic growth within the region. In 1977, the EAC collapsed; the causes of the collapse included demands by Kenya for more seats than Uganda and Tanzania in decision-making organs, disagreements with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin who demanded that Tanzania as a member state of the EAC should not harbour forces fighting to topple the government of another member state, the disparate economic systems of socialism in Tanzania and capitalism in Kenya. The three member states lost over sixty years of co-operation and the benefits of economies of scale, although some Kenyan government officials celebrated the collapse with champagne. Presidents Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Ali Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda signed the Treaty for East African Co-operation in Kampala on 30 November 1993 and established a Tri-partite Commission for Co-operation.
A process of re-integration was embarked on involving tripartite programmes of co-operation in political, economic and cultural fields and technology, defence and legal and judicial affairs. The EAC was revived on 30 November 1999, it came into force on 7 July 2000, 23 years after the collapse of the previous community and its organs. A customs union was signed in March 2004, which commenced on 1 January 2005. Kenya, the region's largest exporter, continued to pay duties on goods entering the other four countries on a declining scale until 2010. A common system of tariffs will apply to goods imported from third-party countries. On 30 November 2016 it was declared that the immediate aim would be confederation rather than federation; the presidents of Kenya and Rwanda invited the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan to apply for membership upon the independence of South Sudan in 2011, South Sudan was an applicant country as of mid-July 2011. Analysts suggested that South Sudan's early efforts to integrate infrastructure, including rail links and oil pipelines, with systems in Kenya and Uganda indicated intention on the part of Juba to pivot away from dependence on Sudan and toward the EAC.
Reuters considers South Sudan the likeliest candidate for EAC expansion in the short term, an article in Tanzanian daily The Citizen that reported East African Legislative Assembly Speaker Abdirahin Haithar Abdi said South Sudan was "free to join the EAC" asserted that analysts believe the country will soon become a full member of the regional body. On 17 September 2011, the Daily Nation quoted a South Sudanese MP as saying that while his government was eager to join the EAC, it would delay its membership over concerns that its economy was not sufficiently developed to compete with EAC member states and could become a "dumping ground" for Kenyan and Ugandan exports; this was contradicted by President Salva Kiir, who announced South Sudan had begun the application process one month later. The application was deferred by the EAC in December 2012, however incidents with Ugandan boda-boda operators in South Sudan have created political tension and may delay the process. In December 2012, Tanzania agreed to South Sudan’s bid to join the EAC, clearing the way for the world’s newest state to become the regional bloc’s sixth member.
In May 2013 the EAC set aside US$82,000 for the admission of South Sudan into the bloc though admission may not happen until 2016. Th
African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights is a continental court established by African countries to ensure protection of human and peoples' rights in Africa. It reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights; the Court was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, adopted by Member States of the Organization of African Unity in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in June 1998. The Protocol came into force on 25 January 2004; the Court has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned. The Court has two types of jurisdiction: contentious and advisory; the Court is composed of nationals of member states of the African Union. The first Judges of the Court were elected in Khartoum, Sudan.
They were sworn in before the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on 2 July 2006, in Banjul, the Gambia. The Judges of the Court are elected, after nomination by their respective states, in their individual capacities from among African jurists of proven integrity and of recognized practical, judicial or academic competence and experience in the field of human rights; the judges are elected for a four-year term renewable once. The judges of the Court elect a President and Vice-President of the Court among themselves who serve a two-year term, they can be re-elected only once. The President of the Court resides and works on a full-time basis at the seat of the Court, while the other ten judges work on a part-time basis. In the accomplishment of his duties, the President is assisted by a Registrar who performs registry and administrative functions of the Court; the Court started its operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2006. In August 2007, it moved its seat to Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania, where the government has provided it with temporary premises pending the construction of a permanent structure.
Between 2006 and 2008, the Court dealt principally with operational and administrative issues, including the development of the structure of the Court's registry, preparation of its budget and drafting of its Interim Rules of Procedure. In 2008, during the Court's Ninth Ordinary Session, judges of the Court provisionally adopted the Interim Rules of the Court pending consultation with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, based in Banjul, Gambia in order to harmonize their rules to achieve the purpose of the provisions of the Protocol establishing the Court, which requires that the two institutions must harmonize their respective Rules so as to achieve the intended complementarity between the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights; this harmonization process was completed in April 2010 and in June 2010, the Court adopted its final Rules of Court. According to the Protocol and the Rules, the Court may receive complaints and/or applications submitted to it either by the African Commission of Human and Peoples' Rights or State parties to the Protocol or African Intergovernmental Organizations.
Non-Governmental Organizations with observer status before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and individuals from States which have made a Declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the Court can institute cases directly before the Court. As of January 2019, only nine countries have made such a declaration; those countries are Burkina Faso, Malawi, Rwanda, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the Gambia. The Court delivered its first judgment in 2009 following an application dated 11 August 2008 by Michelot Yogogombaye against the Republic of Senegal; as at January, 2016, the Court finalized 25 cases. The Court has five pending cases on its table to examine including requests for advisory opinion; as of January 2019, nine state parties to the protocol have made a declaration recognizing the competence of the Court to receive cases from non-government organizations and individuals. The nine states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Rwanda, the Gambia and Tunisia. Altogether, 30 states have ratified the protocol: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was established to complement and reinforce the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, a quasi-judicial body charged with monitoring the implementation of the Charter. The mission of the Court is to enhance the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights by strengthening the human rights protection system in Africa and ensuring respect for and compliance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, as well as other international human rights instruments, through judicial decisions; the vision of the Court is an Africa with a viable human rights culture. Judicial independence from any partisanship, influence, whether it comes from States, NGOs, funding agencies, or individuals. Fair and i
Organs of the African Union
The African Union is governed by organs as per Article 5 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union
The Casablanca Group, sometimes known as the'Casablanca bloc', was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. The group was composed of seven states led by radical, left-wing leaders from North Africa - Algeria, Ghana, Libya and Morocco; the conflict and eventual compromise between the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group lead to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity. The group first met in 1961 in the Moroccan port city of Casablanca, hence the alliance's name; this conference brought together some of the continent's most prominent statesmen like Gamal Abdel-Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sékou Touré of Guinea. What united them was a belief in the need for African political federation, they believed that only significant, deep integration, as has since occurred in Europe through the European Union, would enable Africa to defeat colonialism, achieve peace, foster cultural dialogue, increase the continent's geopolitical influence and promote economic development.
In other words, they believed in the transfer of many powers from national governments to a supranational, pan-African authority. Nkrumah argued for the establishment of a pan-African army which could be deployed to fight colonialism or white minority rule across the continent, his famous Pan-Africanist slogan was'Africa Must Unite!'However, the Casablanca Group was unsuccessful. Most other African leaders did not support such radical change; the ideas of its rival, the so-called Monrovia Group - which believed in Pan-Africanism but not at the expense of nationalism and independent statehood - prevailed. In 1963, the Organisation of African Unity was established. All the members of both the Casablanca and Monrovia groups joined, putting their differences to one side; the OAU, now the African Union, has only achieved limited integration and unity of its member states. It is a reflection of the values of the Monrovia Group and a repudiation of the ideas of the Casablanca Group; as well as disagreeing on the nature of African unity, the groups took up conflicting positions on the conflicts in Algeria and Congo.
While the Casablanca Group's members pledged to support the Front de Liberation Nationale in its efforts fighting for Algerian independence from France, the Monrovia Group backed their enemies, the French. African Union