Have you heard of the African Union? It was established in 2002, the African Union (AU) replaced the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which had focused on liberation struggles from colonial rule and apartheid. President Zuma has stressed that incorporating the African Union anthem in SA schools and churches will help build African unity.
“Starting today every school, church or community, choirs and individuals must practice the African Union anthem, so that we can sing [it] at all our important gatherings and celebrations,” Zuma told the crowd at the Africa Day celebrations.
“If we start with our generation now that they sing it and understand it in schools, we have begun to plant a patriotism that will never go away to our citizens.”
Zuma urged South African institutions and companies to begin flying the African Union flag together with the South African flag. Africa Day falls on May 25th each year and marks the day the Organization of African Unity – known today as the African Union, was founded in 1963.
The AU began with the following objectives which include fostering unity and solidarity between African countries, accelerating political and socio-economic integration, and promoting peace, security, democracy and human rights in the continent.
The AU is based in Ethiopia and has a decision-making assembly, made up of heads of state and government, and a representative parliament, which sits in South Africa.
More a political union than an economic body, the AU has staged several military interventions, sending peacekeepers to Burundi, Sudan and Somalia.
Many people see it as a toothless watchdog, however, consisting of a club of leaders who look out for one another rather than advancing democracy.