Strength through unity

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was created in 1963 and aspired to achieve the ideal of unity by making the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the struggle against racial discrimination its priority concerns. Its fight against apartheid would culminate in two great victories.  The first was the release of Nelson Mandela, the second was when he was elected President of South Africa. The OAU outlined the contours of a united Africa and plotted the path to follow for the African Union (AU) which succeeded it in 2002. The AU intends to accelerate unification by federating the 55 countries that make up the African continent. It has set itself broad goals: an Africa that is completely at peace, a democratic Africa based on respect for human rights, a politically united Africa, an Africa strengthened by a common heritage and cultural riches, an Africa developing through its peoples, an economically prosperous Africa, and an Africa present on the international stage. To guarantee a just distribution of power between large and small countries, governance of the African Union is ensured by a Chairperson appointed for a one-year period. Since February 2020, the African Union has been chaired by South Africa. The new Chair, Cyril Ramaphosa, has already indicated that security and the African Continental Free Trade Area would be the priorities for his term of office. The Democratic Republic of Congo will take over from South Africa in 2021.