chapter  11
The Organization of African Unity
WithPhillip Taylor
Pages 11

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) is a political regional intergovernmental organization. Founded in May 1963, the OAU is composed of fifty African nations, including all the independent states on the African continent except the Republic of South Africa (including its "trust," Namibia, and the unrecognized "homeland" states). Like the OAS, the OAU is a multipurpose organization, but its political functions far overshadow any economic, social, or cultural efforts in the organization. Briefly, its political functions are to support movements to end colonial and white-minority governments in Africa; to provide intra-African conflict resolution; to unite in support of common positions in the United Nations, North-South Conferences, and other international fora (e.g., the Lomé Convention with the EC); and to support the ideological concept of Pan-Africanism.