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Cooperations in Africa

In this topic, we shall discuss Cooperation in Africa formed by African Independent states. We shall discuss the Organisation of African Union (OAU), African Union (AU) and East African Community (EAC). We shall look at their formation, structures, achievements and challenges facing them.


Prior Knowledge

One of the sub-topics discussed under African Cooperation is Pan-Africanism. Pan-Africanism was an African brotherhood movementthat was striving for the closeness and unity of all the black people throughout the world. They were joined by the fact
that all the black people shared a common ancestry, the same colour, homeland and misery suffered by the forefathers in the hands of slave dealers and slave masters.
The movement formed the basis on which OAU was founded, which was an organization of independent African states in the 1960s.

Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Explain the origin and development of OAU


2. Discuss the performance of the OAU


3. Discuss the challenges faced by the OAU


Organisation of African Union

The formation of the OAU has got its background in the ashes of the collapsed Pan-African movement ie. On 25th May 1963 about thirty African head of states who were already independent at that time decided to replace the movement with a more effective and rigid organization which they called the OAU.

Refurbished OAU buildings in Addis Ababa

Objectives of Organization of African Unity (OAU)

OAU had several objectives at the time of its formation.These are:


1. Decolonization of African countries


2. International cooperation within independent African countries


3. Promote better living standards of the African people


4. To have a united voice in African matters at UNO's meetings


5. Eradication or racism and apartheid especially in South Africa

6. Creating a forum where African heads of state could meet occasionally to discuss African matters

7. Non-interference in internal affairs of the member states

Organs of Organization of African Unity (OAU)

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Organs of Organization of African Unity (OAU)

The OAU charter outlines the structure of the organisation by establishing five main organs. OAU was made up of five organs.

a) General assembly.

This was the supreme organ of the organization. It was made up of all the heads of the member states.The main function of the organ was to make policies to guide the future of the African countries.

b) Council of ministers.

This council was made up of Foreign ministers of the member states. They met twice every year. The main function of the council was implementation of decisions by the General Assembly and preparation of the agenda to be discussed by the heads.

c) Secretariat

The secretariat was headed by a Secretary-General, who is elected for a reasonable four year term by the General Assembly. The main function of the secretariat was the day- to- day running of the organization.

d) Arbitration committee

This was the organ that resolves disputes between the member states peacefully eg. On boundaries, refugees etc. This was made up of twenty one members picked from different member states to serve a five year term.

e) Liberation committee

This was a committee that was concerned with organizing and supporting liberation movement in the African continent. This was done away with when all African states acquired their independence

Achievements of Organization African Unity (OAU)

OAU had several achievements:

1. It actively supported liberation movements eg. In Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.


2. OAU was very active in breaking of the apartheid government in South Africa ie. They financially supported the African National Congress (ANC) together with the military training camps in Tanzania and other frontline states.


3. It was able to resolve boundary between member states esp. Kenya-Somali dispute 1967, Ethiopia-Somalia 1977 and the Cameroon-Nigeria 2004.


4. It established African Development Bank (Bank) to support economic projects in Africa through financial loan.


5. OAU enabled African countries to identify themselves to speak in one voice at international forum.

Challenges of Organization of African Union(OAU)

Although the organisation had several successes, it also encountered a number of challenges.


1. OAU membership was voluntary so some member states withdrew their membership eg Morocco 1989.


2. OAU lacked its own army for peace keeping operations. It depended on armies from the member states.


3. Boundary disputes between member states ended into open war which embarrassed OAU eg. Ethiopia-Eritrea conflicts.


4. Financial problems facing the OAU were chronic eg. Budget could not even effectively pay salaries of the secretariat.


5. African states had different forms of government and Ideologies.

6. OAU members belonged to other regional or international organizations eg. Commonwealth, UNO, NAM etc. and hence lack of commitment.

7. Interference by super powers in African affairs, especially during the cold war era.


Objectives

By the end of the lesson you should be able:


1. Explain the origin and development of African Union.


2. Discuss the differences of Africa (AU) and Organization of African Union (OAU)


3. Discuss the challenges facing the AU.


African Union (AU)

AU was established on 19th July 2002 at Durban in South Africa. When presidents of African states resolved to replace the 38 year old OAU with a more effective body called the AU. Mr. Amara Essy of Ivory Coast was brought on board to replace Dr. Ahmed Salim of Tanzania to become the first Secretary General of the new AU.

Muammar Gadaffi who was the architect of AU


Differences between AU and OAU

Although AU evolved from the OAU, this new organisation differes from the predecessor in the following ways:


1. AU challenges the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries especially when there are cases of violation of human rights.


2. AU envisages a union of African people with even a united parliament throughout Africa unlike OAU which was an organization of African heads of states.


3. AU has accountability and mechanisms to review and checks economic progress within the different African countries once in a while.


4. AU intends to establish peace and security councils with a joint African army to maintain peace and security throughout the African continent.


5. AU proposes to establish a peace and security-council with law enforcement powers through the creation of a standing African military.

Differences between AU and OAU

Although AU evolved from the OAU, this new organisation differes from the predecessor in the following ways:


1. AU challenges the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member countries especially when there are cases of violation of human rights.


2. AU envisages a union of African people with even a united parliament throughout Africa unlike OAU which was an organization of African heads of states.


3. AU has accountability and mechanisms to review and checks economic progress within the different African countries once in a while.


4. AU intends to establish peace and security councils with a joint African army to maintain peace and security throughout the African continent.


5. AU proposes to establish a peace and security-council with law enforcement powers through the creation of a standing African military.

Structure of the African Union

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Structure of the African Union

The structure of the OAU was slightly different from that AU in that while OAU had five organs, the AU had nine.The African Union consists of the following organs:

a) THE ASSEMBLY

This is the decision-making body of the organization which is made of all the heads of states.

b) TH EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

This is made up of Foreign Ministers of all member states. The main function for this organ is coordination of policies in areas of common interest to the member states.

c) PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE

This committee is composed of ambassadors to the AU and has the responsibility of preparing the work of the executive council.

d) THE COMMISSION

This replaced the secretariat of the OAU. The main function of the organ is running the day-to-day activities of the union.

e) PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL

It is made up of 15 members chosen from the member states by the General Assembly whose responsibility is to monitor peace and security throughout the African continent.

f) PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

Will be made up of elected representatives nominated from five regions within the African continent to debate and ensure that the civil society and participate in the AU programmes.

g) COURT OF JUSTICE

This would operate like the Court of Appeal in the African continent but paying attention to international law.

h) FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Three financial institutions would be set up in Africa under the AU to provide finances for the projects and programmes.


1. African Central Bank


2. African Monetary Fund


3. African Investment Bank.

i) SPECIALISED TECHNICAL COMMITTEES

a. Transport and communication

b. Education culture and human resources

c. Trade, customs and immigration rural economy and agriculture

d. Industry, science and technology

e. Health, labour and social affairs

 

Structure of the African Union

What are some of the challenges facing the African Union?


1. Some dictators in Africa are not yet ready to give up power through democratic means.


2. In Africa there are two kingdoms where democracy is still out of the question ie. Swaziland and Morocco.


3. Ethinic, religious and racial differences in some parts of Africa are too extreme to be changed over-night eg. Sudan, Nigeria, Rwanda etc.


4. Loyalty to former colonial masters has split Africa into Franco-phone and Anglo-phone.


5. Boundary disputes between member states always embarrass the African Union.

6.Lack of adequate financial resources remains one of the major challenges in the operation of the Union.

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Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Analyse the reason for the formation of the East African Community.


2. Describe the organization of EAC.


3. Discuss the challenges up to 1977


4. Analyse the Rebirth of the EAC 2001


East African Community (EAC)

In this lesson, we shall discuss the reasons for the formation, organisation, challenges and the rebirth of East African Community. What is the East African Community and when was it established? The East African Community was an economic and social cooperation between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It was established after the Presidents of the three countries signed a treaty in 1967.

EAC Logo

Reasons for Formation of EAC

Several reasons led to the formation of East African community.

1. To promote and provide free trade of goods produced within East Africa.


2. To provide common services in areas eg. Railway and Harbours

3. To facilitate free movement of people within the region.

4.To establish similar custom tarrifs and duties to the member states.

5. To enhance and strengthen closer ties and understanding between member states

6. To enhance self sufficiency, self reliance and full independence from the rest of the world.

Kenya-Tanzania Border at Namanga

Organisation of EAC

The treaty of 1967 established EAC organs to co-ordinate the activities and direction of the organization as follows:


1. East African Authority

This was the community's supreme organ which comprised of the heads of the three states


2. The East African legislature Assembly

It was charged with the role of making laws to govern the services offered by the community


3. The Secretariat

Headed by the secretary general and based at Arusha, Tanzania. It co-ordinated the work of the councils that ran the community.


4. The Common Market Tribunal

The tribunal was to settle trade disputes between member states.


5. The Court of Appeal.

It was to hear appeals from the courts in the three member states.

6. EAC Corporations.

These were established to offer services to the three member states.


Challenges of EAC

The EAC was in existence up to 1977. A combination of challenges contributed to its collapse.


1. Ideological differences. Tanzania favoured socialism, Uganda and Kenya favoured capitalism.


2. Personality differences. President Idi Amin of Uganda and Julius Nyerere were bitter enemies


3. Political instability in Uganda. Caused by the political differences among the leaders that is, Idi Amin and Dr. Milton Obote.


4. Perceived unequal gains. The perception that Kenya was acquiring the lion's share of the benefits accruing from the EAC.


5. National pride and interests. Each member state was proud of her own independence.

6. Boundary closure. The tension between the three member states led to border closure between Kenya and Tanzania in 1977.


Rebirth of EAC 2001

On 15th, January, 2001, the new East African community was launched in Arusha Tanzania. The objectives of the new East African Community included :


1. To develop policies that will foster closer political co-operation among member states.


2. To establish a customs union, common market, monetary union and if possible political federation.


3. To provide economic development within East African Region


4. To develop adequate and reliable energy supply in the region.


5. To develop social sector issues such as culture and sports.

6. To develop areas of common economic interest such as Lake Victoria

Heads of state of the new East African Community

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