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COURTESY OF ATIKA SCHOOL
What was the OAU?
It was an association of independent African states that existed between 1963 and 2002, when it was renamed the African Union (AU)
Origin and development of OAU
It was formed as a climax of a series of pan- Africanism congresses up to 1963.
In January 1961, several African independent states, i.e. Egypt, Ghana, morocco, Libya and Algeria, met in Casablanca and pledged to help Patrice Lumumba of Congo against the secessionist Tsombe. In May 1961, another group of African states, i.e. Liberia, Tunisia and Togo met in Monrovia and agreed to work in unity to solve the Congo crisis. In august 1961, a bigger group made up of former French colonies met in Brazzaville to find a solution to the Congo crisis.
In 1963, the regional groupings compromised and joined with others to form one organization. In May 1963, foreign ministers of 32 independent African states met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to prepare the agenda for the heads of state meeting.
The heads of states met under chair of Emperor Haile Selassie and gave birth to OAU, with Selassie as its first chairperson. Its membership grew from 32 at the time of its inception to 54
NB; when the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic was admitted to the OAU in 1984,Morocco withdrew since she claimed that SADR was part of her territory.
The Charter of OAU: