The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of all 55 countries on the African continent. It was established on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the aim of promoting unity and solidarity of African states, to spur economic development, and to promote international cooperation. In this respect, the AU’s vision is “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.” The objectives of the AU are:
- To achieve greater unity and solidarity between African countries and Africans.
- To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States.
- To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
To effectively achieve the objectives of the Union, its institutional set up is made of eight key organs that handle different pertinent issues. These organs include; The Assembly of African Union, The Executive Council, The Commission, The Pan African Parliament, The Court of Justice, The Permanent Representatives’ Committees, The Specialized Technical Committees, The Economic, Social and Cultural Council, The Peace and Security Council and Financial Institutions.
The African Union has been effective in boosting cooperation and unity within Africa, putting its efforts towards diminishing conflict and boosting democracy. Processes are also being implemented that aim to diminish corruption and boost credibility amongst African leaders like the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). APRM evaluates member states on their successes and failures in a wide range of areas. Under this mechanism, leaders submit themselves to public scrutiny.
Uganda has been hailed as being among many examples of governments leading society and acting decisively in building a better life for current and future generations despite challenges. Uganda’s efforts in promotion of gender equality and empowering women; free movement of persons; the fight against malaria and child education have been recognized by the African Union. Furthermore, the country is pursuing its development objectives in line with the African Union Agenda 2063, which is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. The agenda puts forward seven aspirations for “the Africa that we want” as below;
- A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
- An integrated continent, politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
- An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
- A peaceful and secure Africa
- An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics
- An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
- Africa as a strong, united and influential global player and partner