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Constitutive Act of the African Union

To kick off our regional highlight of Africa, we will be looking at the founding document of the African Union. This Act lays out the Union's goals, structure, and procedure for entering and exiting in the Union. Find the full document here:

"INSPIRED by the noble ideals which guided the founding fathers of our Continental Organization and generations of Pan-Africanists in their determination to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States; CONSIDERING the principles and objectives stated in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity and the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community; RECALLING the heroic struggles waged by our peoples and our countries for political independence, human dignity and economic emancipation;

CONSIDERING that since its inception, the Organization of African Unity has played a determining and invaluable role in the liberation of attainment of the unity of our continent and has provided a unique framework for our collective action in Africa and in our relations with the rest of the world. DETERMINED to take up the multifaceted challenges that confront our continent and peoples in the light of the social, economic and political changes taking place in the world; CONVINCED of the need to accelerate the process of implementing the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community in order to promote the socio-economic development of Africa and to face more effectively the challenges posed by globalization; GUIDED by our common vision of a united and strong Africa and by the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion among our peoples; CONSCIOUS a major impediment to the socio-economic development of the continent and of the need to promote peace, security and stability as a prerequisite for the implementation of our development and integration agenda; DETERMINED to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture, and to ensure good governance and the rule of law; FURTHER DETERMINED to take all necessary measures to strengthen our common institutions and provide them with the necessary powers and resources to enable them discharge their respective mandates effectively; RECALLING the Declaration which we adopted at the Fourth Extraordinary Session of our Assembly in Sirte, the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, on 9.9. 99, in which we decided to establish an African Union, in conformity with the ultimate objectives of the Charter of our Continental Organization and the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS: In this Constitutive Act:

Article 1


“Act” means the present Constitutive Act; “AEC” means the African Economic Community; “Assembly” means the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Union; “Charter” means the Charter of the OAU; “Commission” means the Secretariat of the Union; “Committee” means a Specialized Technical Committee of the Union; “Council” means the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the Union; “Court” means the Court of Justice of the Union; “Executive Council” means the Executive Council of Ministers of the Union; “Member State” means a Member State of the Union; “OAU” means the Organization of African Unity;

“Parliament” means the Pan-African Parliament of the Union; “Union” means the African Union established by the present Constitutive Act. Article 2 The African Union is hereby established in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Article 3 The objectives of the Union shall be to:

(a) achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa;

(b) defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States;

(c) accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;

(d) promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples;

(e) encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(f) promote peace, security, and stability on the continent;

(g) promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance;

(h) promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments;

(i) establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations;

(j) promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies;

living standards of African peoples; (l) coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union;

(m) advance the development of the continent by promoting research in

(n) work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent."

Chime in with your thoughts on the Act's content here:

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