The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of 55 member states in Africa. AU was officially launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, following a decision in September 1999 by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), to create a new continental organisation to build on its work.
The Union is guided by its vision of “An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” The goal of the AU is guided by the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Protocol on Amendments to the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
The AU aims to achieve greater unity and solidarity between African countries and their people, encouraging international cooperation; and accelerating the continent’s political and socio-economic integration. Its work is implemented through several organs and institutions that include: – The Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Executive Council, the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), Specialised Technical Committees (STCs), the Peace and Security Council, and The African Union Commission. The AU structure promotes African citizens and civil society participation through the Pan-African Parliament and the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
The official languages of the Union and all its institutions are Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Kiswahili, and any other African language.