11 February 2013

Angola Joined African Union 37 Years Ago

Luanda — On February 12, Tuesday, Angola will commemorate 37 years since it admitted as the 46th member of the African Union (AU), then called Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

After its independence, on 11 November 1975, and with the formation of the first government of the then People's Republic of Angola (RPA), it was appointed José Eduardo dos Santos as Foreign Affairs minister, leading the country's diplomacy campaign, at a time that the national territory was under the threat of invading forces from the then Zaire and South Africa.

As a result of an intense diplomatic struggle led by the current president of Angola, the country was recognised and admitted, on 12 February 1976, as the 46th member of the OAU (now African Union- AU) and, in December 1976, Angola was admitted as member of the United Nations.

In that period, besides the important diplomatic victory, about eighty countries (Brazil as number one) recognized the Angolan government, and forty of those were African nations.

The creation of the OAU represented the will and determination of Africans in trying to be a single body, capable of responding, in an organised and solidarity manner, to the multiple challenges facing the continent, aiming for a better future for the children of Africa.

On 12 July 2002, in Durban, the last chairman of the OAU, South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, solemnly proclaimed the dissolution of the OAU and announced the creation of the African Union (AU).

Some of the objectives of the AU are the unity and solidarity among Africans, elimination of colonialism, maintenance of the sovereignty of African states and economic integration, as well as the promotion of political and cultural co-operation within the continent.

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