International Organization – Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.)

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In today’s class, we will be talking about the international organization – Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.). Enjoy the class!

Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.)

Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) |

Historical background of OAU

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was established on May 25, 1963, at the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. At a meeting with thirty independent African states in attendance. The goal of the organisation was to put an end to all forms of colonialism and imperialism in Africa.

OAU consists of all independent African states.

Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) |

Aims and objectives of OAU

  1. To promote unity and peace across Africa.
  2. To end colonialism in Africa.
  3. To defend member states against external influence and aggression.
  4. To promote the good living standard of the masses.
  5. To serve as a voice in the global world and promote issues that are of interest to Africa.

Organs and functions of OAU

  1. Assembly of heads of state and government: is the highest and most powerful of all the organs of the OAU. It consists of all Heads of state and government of all member states. They appoint secretary-General, coordinate polices, amend charter etc.
  2. Council of ministers: is made up of foreign ministers who are saddled with the responsibility of preparing agenda for the meetings of Heads of states and government, approve budgets, implements decisions arrived at by the Assembly.
  3. General secretariat: This is the administrative organ of the organization. The headquarters is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Duties include financial control, implementation of the administrative duties and provision of agendas for meetings.
  4. The commission of mediation, conciliation and arbitration: They settle disputes among member states.
  5. The liberation committee: It was set up in 1963 and has its headquarters at Dare-es-Salam in Tanzania. They assist African territories under colonial rule to gain independence and also render financial support to African states in need of help.
Achievements of OAU
  1. Many disputes have been settled with the help of OAU in Africa.
  2. OAU played a huge role in eradicating apartheid in South Africa.
  3. OAU has contributed to the promotion of world peace and security.
  4. It has contributed to the promotion of human rights through the adoption of the African Charter on Human Rights.
  5. Through the financial intervention of the African Development Bank. Loans have been granted to some member states of OAU for economic developmental projects.
Problems of the Organization of Africa Unity
  1. Most countries in Africa are poor and depend heavily on foreign nations and this affects the commitment levels of these states to OAU.
  2. Political instability among some African nations poses threat to the existence of OAU.
  3. Poor leadership is a big challenge for the organization.
  4. Conflicts across borders hinder the goals of OAU.
  5. Lack of a standing army to fight when conflict arises is a huge problem of OAU.
General evaluation
  1. List three organs of the OAU.
  2. Give four achievements of OAU
  3. State four problems of OAU.


  1. List all the countries that are members of OAU.
  2. State the names of past Secretaries-General of the OAU.


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