The African Union (abbreviated AU in English and UA in different languages) is a geopolitical union consisting of 54 African states. The only African state not part of the African Union is Morocco. It was established on July 9, 2002, succeeding the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The first attempt to create a single unified state encompassing the whole of the African continent were made by colonial powers in Europe during the 19th century, intent on using the number of natural resources and manpower the continent had to offer to their empires. However, rivalries between many of the powers made this impossible, and much of Africa later became shared by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The Union of African States was one of the first unions of African nations. It only existed from 1958 to 1962 and consisted of three members: Ghana, Guinea, and Mali. The Organization of African Unity was then established the following year, but was disbanded in 2002 by its president, South African President Thabo Mbeki (1942–).
The idea of establishing the African Union was revived during the mid-1990s under leadership by Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi (1942–2011). The heads of state and government of the OAU introduced the Sirte Declaration on September 9, 1999, which called for the introduction of the AU. This meeting was followed by summits at Lomé in 2000, when the Constitutive Act of the African Union was adopted, and at Lusaka in 2001, when the plan for the implementation of the union was adopted. The organization was officially launched in Durban in 2002, succeeding the Organization of African Unity.
Morocco, the only African state that is not a member of the African Union, left the AU's predecessor, the Organization for African Unity, in 1984, when several member states supported the inclusion of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Since the inception of the African Union, a handful of states have had their memberships suspended as a result of local political conflicts, including Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Egypt, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Togo. Of these, only the Central African Republic is currently suspended.
All of the states of the African Union make up a nominal GDP of US$1.627 trillion. By measuring GDP by PPP, the African Union's economy totals $2.849 trillion. Currently, there are over forty currencies found in circulation within the AU, which gives the AU the intent to establish a common currency and a single central bank among its states as early as 2028.
Currently, there are 54 member states of the African Union, constituting of every African country but Morocco, which withdrew from the OAU in 1984. The countries are:
Central African Republic (suspended)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
| The Gambia|
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
São Tomé and Príncipe
|Countries||Algeria • Angola • Benin • Botswana • Burkina Faso • Burundi • Cameroon • Cape Verde • Central African Republic • Chad • Comoros • Democratic Republic of the Congo • Republic of the Congo • Côte d'Ivoire • Djibouti • Egypt • Equatorial Guinea • Eritrea • Ethiopia • Gabon • Gambia • Ghana • Guinea • Guinea-Bissau • Kenya • Lesotho • Liberia • Libya • Madagascar • Malawi • Mali • Mauritania • Mauritius • Morocco • Mozambique • Namibia • Niger • Nigeria • Rwanda • São Tomé and Príncipe • Senegal • Seychelles • Sierra Leone • Somalia • South Africa • South Sudan • Sudan • Swaziland • Tanzania • Togo • Tunisia • Uganda • Zambia • Zimbabwe|
|Unrecognized countries||Somaliland • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara)|
|Non-sovereign territories|| Ascension • Canary Islands • Ceuta • French Southern and Antarctic Lands* • Madeira • Mayotte • Melilla • |
Plazas de soberanía • Réunion • Saint Helena • Tristan da Cunha