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 Pan-African Parliament known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union and held its inaugural session in March 2004. The PAP exercises oversight, has advisory and consultative powers, lasting for the first five years; the seat of the Pan-African Parliament was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but it was moved to Midrand, South Africa. On 28 October 2009, the second legislature of the Pan-African Parliament opened its first ordinary session and began a new 5-year mandate. South African president, Jacob Zuma, gave the opening speech and called for the PAP to be given full legislative powers and its members elected by universal suffrage; the Parliament is made up of three main bodies. There are Ten Permanent Committees which were created to deal with different sectors of life in Africa; the Plenary is the main decision-making body of the Parliament. The Plenary consists of the delegates from the member states, is chaired by the President, it is the body. The Pan-African Parliament has 235 representatives that are elected by the legislatures of 47 of the 54 AU states, rather than being directly elected in their own capacity.
Each member state sends a delegation of five parliamentarians to the Parliament, at least one of whom must be a woman. The composition of the delegation should reflect the political diversity of the member state's legislature; the Bureau is the leadership group of the Parliament and consists of the President and four Vice-Presidents. Each member of the Bureau represents a different region of Africa; the current members of the Bureau are:President - Roger Nkodo Dang from Cameroon, representing Central Africa First Vice-President - Stephen Julius Masele from Tanzania, representing East Africa Second Vice-President - Haidara Haïchata from Mali, representing West Africa Third Vice-President - Bouras Djamel from Algeria, representing Northern Africa Fourth Vice-President - Chief Chirumbira from Zimbabwe, representing Southern Africa The Secretariat assists in the day-to-day running of the Parliament, undertaking duties such as minuting meetings, organising elections and managing staff. The Secretariat consists of two Deputy Clerks and other support staff.
The current members of the Secretariat are: Acting Clerk - Yusupha Jobe Deputy Clerk - Gali Massa Harou Acting Deputy Clerk - Charlotte Marck The Abuja Treaty and Sirte Declaration called for the creation of a PAP. The former had listed the PAP among the organization's bodies and stated, "In order to ensure that the peoples of Africa are involved in the economic development and integration of the Continent, there shall be established a Pan-African Parliament; the composition, functions and organisation of the Pan-African Parliament shall be defined in a Protocol providing thereof." The Treaty on the Establishment of the African Union and a Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament followed. There was the Constitutive Act of the African Union; the Protocol Establishing the Pan African Parliament was adopted in 2000 during the OAU Summit in Lomé, Togo. The Protocol is now open for ratification. So far 21 member states have signed and three have ratified.
Article 22 of the PAP protocol provides for the Protocol to enter into force after deposit of the instruments of ratification by a simple majority of the member states. Implement the policies and objectives of the African Union. Cultivate human rights and democracy in Africa. Make sure Member States adhere to good governance and accountability. Let the peoples of Africa know what the objectives and policies of the African Union are so that they might be able to integrate themselves contentally while still working within the framework of the AU. Engender peace and stability on the Continent. Promote self-reliance and economic recovery so as to lead to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa. Engender cooperation and development in Africa. Strengthen a sense of solidarity and build common destiny among the peoples of Africa. Create cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Members in Parliament. Examine, discuss or express an opinion on any matter, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Assembly or other policy organs and make any recommendations it may deem fit relating to, inter alia, matters pertaining to respect of human rights, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the culture of democracy, as well as the promotion good governance and the rule of law.
Discuss its budget and the budget of the Community and make recommendations theron prior to its approval by the Assembly of the African Union. Work towards the harmonisation or co-ordination of the laws of the Member State. Make recommendations aimed at contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the OAU/AEC and draw attention to the challenges facing the integration process in Africa as well as the strategies for dealing with them. Request officials of the OAU/AEC to attend its sessions, produce documents or assist in the discharge of its duties. Promote the programmes and objectives of the OAU/AEC, in the constituencies of the Member States. Promote the co-ordination and Harmonization of policies, measures and activities of the Regional Economic Communities and the parliamentary fora of Africa. Adopt its Rules of Procedure, elect its own President and propose to the Council and the Assembly the size and nature of the support staff of the Pan-African Parliament. Perform such other functions as it deems appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in Article 3 of the Protocol.
In one of its first actions the Pan African Parliament
The African Union is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa; the intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity, established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states; the AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa. The African Union has an area of around 29 million km2 and includes popular world landmarks, including the Sahara and the Nile; the primary languages spoken include Arabic, English and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.
The objectives of the AU are the following: To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and African nations. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples. To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To promote peace and stability on the continent. To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance. To promote and protect human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations. To promote sustainable development at the economic and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.
To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples. To coordinate and harmonise the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union. To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology. To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent; the African Union is made up of both administrative bodies. The highest decision-making organ is the Assembly of the African Union, made up of all the heads of state or government of member states of the AU; the Assembly is chaired by President of Egypt. The AU has a representative body, the Pan African Parliament, which consists of 265 members elected by the national legislatures of the AU member states, its president is Roger Nkodo Dang. Other political institutions of the AU include: the Executive Council, made up of foreign ministers, which prepares decisions for the Assembly.
The AU Commission, the secretariat to the political structures, is chaired by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa. On 15 July 2012, Ms. Dlamini-Zuma won a contested vote to become the first female head of the African Union Commission, replacing Jean Ping of Gabon. Other AU structures are hosted by different member states: the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is based in Banjul, the Gambia; the AU's first military intervention in a member state was the May 2003 deployment of a peacekeeping force of soldiers from South Africa and Mozambique to Burundi to oversee the implementation of the various agreements. AU troops were deployed in Sudan for peacekeeping during Darfur conflict, before the mission was handed over to the United Nations on 1 January 2008 UNAMID; the AU has sent a peacekeeping mission to Somalia, of which the peacekeeping troops are from Uganda and Burundi. The AU has adopted a number of important new documents establishing norms at continental level, to supplement those in force when it was created.
These include the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, the African Charter on Democracy and Governance, the New Partnership for Africa's Development and its associated Declaration on Democracy, Political and Corporate Governance. The historical foundations of the African Union originated in the First Congress of Independence African States, held in Accra, from 15 to 22 April 1958; the conference aimed at forming the Africa Day, to mark the liberation movement each year concerning the willingness of the African people to free themselves from foreign dictatorship, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the Organisation of African Unity, established on 25 May 1963, the African Economic Community in 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders dubbing it the "Dictators' Club"; the idea of creating the AU was revived in the mid-1990s under the leadership of Libyan head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi: the heads of state and government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declara
Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda. Middle Africa is an analogous term that includes Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise reckoned in Central Africa, constitute the Economic Community of Central African States. Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been included in the region; the Central African Federation called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was made up of what are now the nations of Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa covers dioceses in Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe, while the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian has synods in Malawi and Zimbabwe; these states are now considered part of East or Southern Africa. The basin of Lake Chad has been ecologically significant to the populations of Central Africa, with the Lake Chad Basin Commission serving as an important supra-regional organization in Central Africa.
Archeological finds in Central Africa have been discovered dating back over 100,000 years. According to Zangato and Holl, there is evidence of iron-smelting in the Central African Republic and Cameroon that may date back to 3000 to 2500 BCE. Extensive walled settlements have been found in Northeast Nigeria 60 km southwest of Lake Chad dating to the first millennium BCE. Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the early civilizations of Sao, Bornu, Shilluk and Wadai. Around 1000 BCE, Bantu migrants had reached the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa. Halfway through the first millennium BCE, the Bantu had settled as far south as what is now Angola; the Sao civilization flourished from ca. the sixth century BCE to as late as the sixteenth century CE in northern Central Africa. The Sao lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that became part of Cameroon and Chad, they are the earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in the territory of modern Cameroon.
Today, several ethnic groups of northern Cameroon and southern Chad but the Sara people claim descent from the civilization of the Sao. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze and iron. Finds include bronze sculptures and terra cotta statues of human and animal figures, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry decorated pottery, spears; the largest Sao archaeological finds have been made south of Lake Chad. Note: BCE is the same as BC and CE is the same as AD; the Kanem-Bornu Empire was centered in the Chad Basin. It was known as the Kanem Empire from the 9th century CE onward and lasted as the independent kingdom of Bornu until 1900. At its height it encompassed an area covering not only much of Chad, but parts of modern southern Libya, eastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, parts of South Sudan and the Central African Republic; the history of the Empire is known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in 1851 by the German traveller Heinrich Barth.
Kanem rose in the 8th century in the region to the east of Lake Chad. The Kanem empire went into decline, in the 14th century was defeated by Bilala invaders from the Lake Fitri region; the Kanuri people led by the Sayfuwa migrated to the west and south of the lake, where they established the Bornu Empire. By the late 16th century the Bornu empire had expanded and recaptured the parts of Kanem, conquered by the Bulala. Satellite states of Bornu included the Damagaram in the west and Baguirmi to the southeast of Lake Chad; the Shilluk Kingdom was centered in South Sudan from the 15th century from along a strip of land along the western bank of White Nile, from Lake No to about 12° north latitude. The capital and royal residence was in the town of Fashoda; the kingdom was founded during the mid-fifteenth century CE by Nyikang. During the nineteenth century, the Shilluk Kingdom faced decline following military assaults from the Ottoman Empire and British and Sudanese colonization in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
The Kingdom of Baguirmi existed as an independent state during the 16th and 17th centuries southeast of Lake Chad in what is now the country of Chad. Baguirmi emerged to the southeast of the Kanem-Bornu Empire; the kingdom's first ruler was Mbang Birni Besse. In his reign, the Bornu Empire conquered and made the state a tributary; the Wadai Empire was centered on the Central African Republic from the 17th century. The Tunjur people founded the Wadai Kingdom to the east of Bornu in the 16th century. In the 17th century there was a revolt of the Maba people. At first Wadai paid tribute to Bornu and Durfur, but by the 18th century Wadai was independent and had become an aggressor against its neighbors. Following the Bantu Migration from Western Africa, Bantu kingdomes and empires began to develop in southern Central Africa. In the 1450s, a Luba from the royal family Ilunga Tshibinda married Lunda queen Rweej and united all Lunda peoples, their son Mulopwe Luseeng expanded the kingdom. His son Naweej expanded the empire further and is known as the first Lunda emperor, with the title Mwata Yamvo, the "Lord of Vipers".
The Luba political system was retained, conquered peoples were integrated into the system. The mwata
Assembly of the African Union
The Assembly of the African Union, formally known as the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, is one of several decision-making bodies within the African Union. The other bodies are the Pan-African Parliament; the Chairperson of the Assembly has few formal functions, the most important of, to preside at the Pan-African Parliament during the election and swearing in of the President of the Pan-African Parliament. The Assembly came into existence on 25 May 1963, as part of the ratification of Organization of African Unity; the Assembly consisted of 32 independent members, the heads of state of the African states that had achieved independence by 1963. Until 2001, the governing constitution of the Assembly was the OAU Charter; the Assembly is now subject to the Union Act. The Assembly has nine basic functions: Set policies of the Union. Decide on what action to take after consideration of reports and recommendations from the other organs of the Union. Consider membership requests into the Union.
Create bodies for the Union. Monitor the implementation of policies and decisions of the Union as well ensure compliance by all Member States. Create a budget of the Union. Provide direction to the Executive Council on conflicts and other emergency situations and the restoration of peace. Select judges for and withdraw judges of the Court of Justice. Appoint the Chairman of the Commission, Commissioners of the Commission, all respective deputies and determine how long they will serve and what duties they will perform; the Assembly shall take its decisions by consensus or, failing which, by a two-thirds majority of the Member States of the Union. However, procedural matters, including the question of whether a matter is one of procedure or not, shall be decided by a simple majority. Two-thirds of the total membership of the Union shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Assembly; the Assembly may delegate any of its functions to any organ of the Union. The AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government consists of the 54 heads of state and government of the member countries.
The Assembly meets once a year at the AU Summit. The current Chairman of the Assembly is President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; the current members of the AU-AHSG are: the European alternative. Assembly of the African Union Official Site
Economic Community of West African States
The Economic Community of West African States known as ECOWAS, is a regional economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa. Collectively, these countries comprise an area of 5,114,162 km2, in 2015 had an estimated population of over 349 million; the union was established on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, with its stated mission to promote economic integration across the region. A revised version of the treaty was signed on 24 July 1993 in Cotonou. Considered one of the pillar regional blocs of the continent-wide African Economic Community, the stated goal of ECOWAS is to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union. ECOWAS serves as a peacekeeping force in the region, with member states sending joint military forces to intervene in the bloc's member countries at times of political instability and unrest. In recent years these included interventions in Ivory Coast in 2003, Liberia in 2003, Guinea-Bissau in 2012, Mali in 2013, Gambia in 2017.
ECOWAS includes two sub-regional blocs: The West African Economic and Monetary Union is an organization of eight French-speaking, states within the ECOWAS which share a customs union and currency union. Established in 1994 and intended to counterbalance the dominance of English-speaking economies in the bloc, members of UEMOA are former territories of French West Africa; the currency they all use is the CFA franc, pegged to the euro. The West African Monetary Zone, established in 2000, comprises six English-speaking countries within ECOWAS which plan to work towards adopting their own common currency, the eco. ECOWAS operates in three co-official languages—French and Portuguese, consists of two institutions to implement policies: the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development known as the Fund for Cooperation until it was renamed in 2001. A few members of the organization have gone over the years. In 1976 Cape Verde joined ECOWAS, in December 2000 Mauritania withdrew, having announced its intention to do so in December 1999.
In 2011, ECOWAS adopted its development blueprint for the next decade, Vision 2020, and, to accompany it, a Policy on Science and Technology. As of February 2017, ECOWAS has 15 member states. All current members joined the community as founding members in May 1975, except Cape Verde which joined in 1977; the only former member of ECOWAS is Arabic-speaking Mauritania, one of the founding members in 1975 and decided to withdraw in December 2000.. Mauritania signed a new associate-membership agreement in August 2017. Morocco requested to join ECOWAS in February 2017; the application was endorsed at the summit of heads of state in June 2017. Statistics for population, nominal GDP and purchasing power parity GDP listed below are taken from World Bank estimates for 2015, published in December 2016. Area data is taken from a 2012 report compiled by the United Nations Statistics Division; the ECOWAS nations assigned a non-aggression protocol in 1990 along with two earlier agreements in 1978 and 1981. They signed a Protocol on Mutual Defence Assistance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 29 May 1981, that provided for the establishment of an Allied Armed Force of the Community.
The Community Parliament consists of 115 members, distributed based on the population of each member state. This body is headed by the Speaker of the Parliament, above the Secretary General. For the third time since its inception in 1975, ECOWAS is undergoing institutional reforms; the first was when it revised its treaty on 24 July 1993. As of July 2013, ECOWAS now has six new departments; the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice was created by a protocol signed in 1991 and was included in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty of the Community in 1993. However, the Court did not begin operations until the 1991 protocol came into effect on 5 November 1996; the jurisdiction of the court is outlined in Article 9 and Articles 76 of the Revised Treaty and allows rulings on disputes between states over interpretations of the Revised Treaty. It provides the ECOWAS Council with advisory opinions on legal issues. Like its companion courts, the European Court of Human Rights and East African Court of Justice, it has jurisdiction to rule on fundamental human rights breaches.
ECOWAS nations organize a broad array of cultural and sports events under the auspices of the body, including the CEDEAO Cup in football, the 2012 ECOWAS Games and the Miss CEDEAO beauty pageant. The West African Economic and Monetary Union is an organization of eight francophone West African states within the ECOWAS, that were dominated otherwise by anglophone heavyweights like Nigeria and Ghana, it was established to promote economic integration among countries that share the CFA franc as a common currency. UEMOA was created by a Treaty signed at Dakar, Senegal, on 10 January 1994, by the heads of state and governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger and Togo
Foreign relations of the African Union
The individual member states of the African Union coordinate foreign policy through this agency, in addition to conducting their own international relations on a state-by-state basis. The AU represents the interests of African peoples at large in intergovernmental organizations. Membership of the AU overlaps with other IGO's, these third-party organizations and the AU will coordinate matters of public policy. Non-Aligned Movement Commonwealth of Nations Arab LeagueArab Maghreb UnionCommunity of Sahel-Saharan StatesConseil de l'Entente Greater Arab Free Trade AreaEconomic Community of the Great Lakes CountriesG20 developing nationsG-20 major economies South Africa G33G90Group of 77Indian Ocean CommissionLiptako-Gourma AuthorityMano River UnionOPEC Community of Portuguese Language Countries Organisation internationale de la FrancophonieOrganization of Ibero-American States Equatorial Guinea Organisation of Islamic Cooperation The African Union maintains special diplomatic representation with the United States, the European Union.
In 2011, the United States Mission to the African Union donated a state of the art multimedia box to the cash-starved African Union in a formal ceremony, in which they presented new interns who will be trained to use it. Enlargement of the African Union