The Organization Of African Unity: History And Goals Essay, Research Paper
The Organization of African Unity :
History and Goals
The Organization of the African Unity is both the symbol and embodiment of age-old Pan-African yearnings that found remarkable expression in the 19th Century epics of scattered Africa Communities all over the world. A movement of self-assertin in its early days, Pan-Africanism evolved progressively into an organized force with cultural and political claims especially after World War II when it took on a continental dimension. At that time, African leaders disagreed about what the organization should be. Some leaders pushed for the creation of a central government that would unite all of Africa under one authority. However, most of the African nations had just recently gained independence from colonial rule and their leaders opposed the idea. The leaders eventually reached a compromise out in so doing created an organization that is controlled by its member nations leaving it with little power to act on its own.
The Organization of African Unity was born to help strengthen ties between African nations, and settle disputes. It aso went through many problems which underminded its ability to achieve its goals. It also promoted continental peace, unity, and cooperation. The OAU works to resolve conflicts between nations and to coordinate political, econommic, cultural scientific, medical, and defense policis.
The Organization of African Unity was founded in Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963. The OAU had open with 32 member nations whom which signed the Charter of the Organization by the Heads of State and Government of independent African States, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was also signed on that occasion. The first head chair of the OAU was Olympio Sylvannus. Olympio Sylvannus was born on September 6, 1902 in Agone, Togo. He was educated at the London School of Economics and later emplyed by the United African Company in 1926. He entered politics as the leader of the Togolese Unity Committee and the spokesman for the Ewe tribe in Togo. He opposed the French colonial government. Olympio led his country through independence on April 27, 1960; and became the nations first president. Also, the first African country to gain it?s independence. This brought Olympo and his African brothers into thinking an work hard together into forming and organization.
From the first Pan-African gathering in Manchester (United Kingdom) in 1990 to the historic Conference of Independent African States on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; many attempts were made channeling african aspirations for freedom, equality, justice and progress. All these regional attempts were to culminate in the creation of the Organization of African Unity on May 25, 1963. Unfortunately, the first head chair of the OAU was Sylvannus, Olympio had been assassinated on January 13, 1963 due to the lost of element of the army by denying the entry into the Togo army of veterans of the French army. He was then ambushed by ex-soldeiers and shot to death at the gates of the American Embassy in Togo where he intended to seek asylum.
The headquarters of the OAU is located at the Africa Unity House in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The OAU was three governing bodies are the following: The Assembly of the Heads of States and Governments, the Council of Ministers, and the General Secretariat. The OAU consists of one representative from each member nation. The General Secretariat was the task to service OAU meetings, implement decisions and resolutions adopted by the Head of States and Governments and Ministers keep OAU documents and conduct the daily work of coordination among Member states in all fields stated in the Charter. The General Secretariat is also serving as the Secretariat for the Community. There are five Assistant Secretaries General all of whom are appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a four-year term. They may be re-appointed. There are 572 staff members of whom 130 of the professional category from some 44 Member States work both at Headquarters and in the Regional and Sub-Regional Offices.
The OAU?s working languages are Arabic, English, French and Portuguese. The OAU?s budget is about 30 million US dollars. The General Secretariat is financed by annual contributions that is approved by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. The Supreme Organ of the OAU and the African Economic Community is the Assembly of Heads of State and Government considers policy matters of interest to the Continent, takes the decisions and passes resolutions and declarations on them. The Organ of the OAU is the Council of Ministers of Foreign/External Affairs, or such other Ministers, as designated by ember states. The Council of Ministers meets in extraordinary meeting approved by a majority of two-third; of Member States. The Council of Ministers is responsible for the development of the Africa Economic Community. The General Secretariat is headed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of four-year term. He follow his functions in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community and other treaties, agreements and conventions among Member States.
The OAU has been troubled by disputes among it?s member nations. In 1975 the member nations became divided into which sid to support in the Angolan Civil War. The rival factions fought for control of Angola, and Ministers, keep OAU documents and conduct the daily work of coordianation among Member States in all fields stated in the Charter.