الاتحاد الأفريقي (ar)
Union africaine (fr)
União Africana (pt)
Unión Africana (sp)
Umoja wa Afrika (sw)
|Motto: Africa United, Now and Forever|
|Anthem: Let Us All Unite and Celebrate Together|
|Official language||English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili|
|Ethinic groups||More than 2,000|
- Vice President
|Federal presidential constitutional union|
|Formation||25 May 1963|
- Water (%)
11,703,760 sq mi
- 2013 estimate
- 2012 census
- Per capita
- Per capita
|Gini (2013)||43.7 (high)|
|HDI (2013)||0.617 (medium)|
|Currency||African shilling (A₴) (|
|Time Zone||(UTC -1 to +4)|
|Date formats||mm-dd-yyyy (CE)|
|Drive on the||right|
|Calling code||See list|
The Africa Union (AU or UA in other languages, more commonly Africa) is a political union comprisied of 55 former African states, covering 11.7 million square miles, and possessing a population of more than 1.042 billion people. United following the Pan-African Congress of 1963, all of the African Union members who joined where formerly a member of Organization of African Unity–a short-lived two-year old union formed in 1961 which directly proceeded the African Union. A relatively wealthy nation, the African Union is strong superpower that managed to resolve by word or by sword, the majority of Africa's cronic issues, including the poor demarcation of post-colonial borders which divided ethnic groups, squeezed large and powerful rival tribes into the same nations, and left many of the new states without natural resources to build their fledging economies.
Since the unification of Africa, English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish have becone the five official languages of the AU. It is the world's second-largest democracy, and the third-largest nation by population only. The current President is Khaya Mavuso, elected in 2008 to his second term, which is to end on 25 May 2013. The nation's policies have be driven largely by the threat of the Second American Civil War and the danger of the rise of the new nations in the former United States of America. Troops were recently deployed to the Carribean so as to protect fellow black Africans and African Union nationals. Haiti is currently serving as the base of operations of African military operations in the region.
The beginnings of the African Union start following the Second World War in 1946, when the European empires greatly weakened by the fighting began to lose their grip on the African elite in their colonies. Ethiopia leading the charge, came to support rebel movements that sought end European supremacy in their homelands. The first such nation to do so without bloodshed was Ghana, which was released from British control in 1952. Its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was a staunch pan-Africanist, and like Ethiopian Emperor, Halie Salassie, supported a movement that could potentially unite the African people into a single political and economical bloc. When the tide of African independence came into full swing, the possiblity of achieving such a goal became more of a reality than an far-flung idea.
In 1958, the first sends toward uniting African were planted during the first meeting of the Organization of African Unity. The Casablanca bloc, lead by Ghana, sought total unity of all African nations, while the Monrovia bloc, lead by Ethiopia, was opposed to it, and sought economic cooperation instead, a different tune than what it had been using before the meeting. While the chance to unite Africa during the first meeting was dashed, hoped for that goal were not extinguished. In 1959, Ethiopia and Nigeria, two of the largest nations in Africa, began experiencing economic faults and political turbulance. Faced with wide-scale civil war, especially in Ethiopia where the emperor was failing to deliever on his promises, these two prominent nations called on the aid of their allies.
The assistance to the two nations revealed a much larger problem with Africa as a whole. Some nations were lacking the resources to support their tiny economies, and others were chalk full of mineral reserves held by one ethnic group which refused to deal with the other rival groups, such as the Igbo, who sat on Nigeria's oil-rich southeastern regions. The need to bring these groups together so as to strengthen all of Africa was deemed a nessicity, and only a catalyst was required to formalised any such agreement. Such would come with the beginning of the Congo Crisis in 1960.
The Congo Crisis
Seeing as how the military of the Congo was underdeveloped, undermanned, and underfunded, it was in no position to fight all of the rebel organizations at once. Thus, seeing a chance to prove the usefulness and nessicity of the OAU, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria sent troops to the Congo to stop the spread of violence and warfare. Ethiopia and Egypt worked on getting the rebels to the negotiation table, and the East African nations came in with humanitarian aid to help those effected by the war. The Europeans were warned not to interfere, as the African states sought to deal with the matter alone so as to prove themselves a force capable of resolving their matters unaided. 40,000 troops from the OAU were sent into the warzones to combat the rebel armies, while the humanitarian efforts paid off by relocating 150,000 civilians to safe zones far from the fighting.
The offensive against the forces of Katanga quickly broke the back of the attacks against Congolese troops in the mining areas of that province. Newly independent Somalia came into the conflict supporting the OAU in late-1960, seeking to gain recognition of its new government. The addition of Somalia's large armored units were indispensible in helping defeat the forces of South Kasai, and adding to the growing momentum of a unifed African nation. With the noose tightening around them, the rebel leaders agreed to accept the deals brokered to them by Ethiopia and Egypt, and the rebel armies disbanded and disarmed by Kenyan forces. With the defeat of the rebel forces in the Congo, and the restoration of law and order to the country without the aid of European nations, the African coalition had proven that it was able to work only and put its best foot forward.
Formation & Modern History
Following the end of the Congo Crisis, the nations of the continent had decided to re-evaluate the possibility of a political union, seeing much to gain from such an alliance. Thus, during the Pan-African Congress of 1963 in Addis Ababa, the delegations of all the African polities vote yes on the formation of the African Union to replace the Organization for African Unity. Within minutes of the vote, celebrations spread across the land. Some observers stated that unification was premature, and that it was a complete contridiction to the very reason many of the nations fought for independence. However, supporters of the the new union remakred that Africans fought for independence from unjust and unfair European rule. The African Union was formed peacefully for the benefit of all Africans and not forced upon any of the new member states.
South Africa did not join until 1975, when the African Union invaded the country to put an end to the apartheid government, and punish those in power, and Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea were admitted into the union in 1976 when AU troops prevented Portuguese forces from invading and attempting to stop the declarations of independence. Western Sahara joined following a brief war with Morocco, in which the AU once again stepped in to help the internationally recognized country. Finally, Morocco refused to join until 1982 when it needed economic assistance, and the AU offered to bail it out if it became a member of the union. Since then, the African Union has enjoyed economic growth, social stability, and industrial expansion allowing it to rival the juggernauts of the world.
Law & Government
The African Union is a federal presidential constitutional union, and unlike the majority of republics in the world today, the President is the head of state and head of government. The African Union's government is divided into three bodies: the executive branch, the three-tier legislative branch, the judicial branch. The executive branch consists of the President, the Vice President, and the cabinent offices which oversee and direct the various ministerial departments of the government changed with handling certain aspects of the nation's infastructure.
The president's power is granted and controlled by the Pan-African Parliament, which is divided into three tiers. At the top is the Regional Executive of the African Union, divided into four parts representing North, South, East, and West Africa in the government. Beneath them is the National Executive of the African Union, which represents all 55 of the constituent republics of the union. This group is divided into their respective regions which represent them all in the top tier of the government. Finally, at the very bottom is the People's Executive of the African Union, with more than 2,000 members, one representing each of the ethnic groups within all of the members of the African Union.
The government's relations with foreign powers has been that of a stand-off. The African Union's human rights record is still spotty, especially with the passing of anti-gay bills in Uganda, and the poor women's rights in West and North Africa. However, possessing a large share of the world's oil, a seventh of the world population, and one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, the African Union is an indispensible ally in the South Hemisphere, and the most powerful nation in the Middle East, an important geopolitical region. The AU represents 55 nations in the United Nations, and speaks for more than a billion people, meaning its words have much weight in regards to decision making in the UN.
The African Union Security Forces (AUSF) were established in 1965 as part of the organizational efforts to create a strong stand-by force that could immediately respond to threats endangering all of Africa. It soon grew to become the primary military force of the African Union by 1982, replacing the majority of the forces employed by the member states. The AUSF is subdivided into four branches: the African Union Army, African Union Navy, African Union Air Force, and African Union Marine Corps. As with the majority of modern militaries, the AUSF is geared toward peacekeeping, though as a major world power, it is also very capable of performing combat operations in other regions of the globe. With the inclusion of South Africa in 1975, the AUSF recieved high-tech weaponry, superbly trained forces, and nuclear technology, which has since been developed to provide the AU with a vast array of nuclear arms.
The military currently consists of 2.3 million active forces, with another 1.7 million in reserve. These personnel are divided into 1.4 million for the army, 475,000 for the marines, 230,000 for the air force, and 195,000 for the navy. The air force possesses an inventory of 8,930 aircraft spread across hundreds of military bases in Africa, while the navy has 233 ships and 1,020 aircraft of its of. Also in the navy's inventory are six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, and an array of nuclear submarines carry dozens of the nation's ballistic missiles. There are ten military districts (too be brought down to six by 2017), and 13 naval patrol regions (also to be brought down to ten). The African Union's military forces focus on professionalism, and plans to lower the military force down to 1.5 million personnel are in the works, as many of the military units still bear and utilize old Soviet-era weaponry.