Modern History Sourcebook:
Charter of the Organisation of African Unity, May 25 1963
We, the Heads of African States and Governments assembled in the City of Addis Ababa,
Convinced that it is the inalienable right of all people to control their own destiny;conscious of the fact that freedom, equality, justice and dignity are essential
objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples;Conscious of our responsibility to harness the natural and human resources of our
continent for the total advancement of our peoples in spheres of human endeavour;Inspired by a common determination to promote understanding among our peoples and
co-operation among our States in response to the aspirations of our peoples for
brotherhood and solidarity, in a larger unity transcending ethnic and national
differences;Convinced that, in order to translate this determination into a dynamic force in the
cause of human progress, conditions for peace and security must be established and
maintained;Determined to safeguard and consolidate the hard-won independence as well as the
sovereignty and territorial integrity, of our States, and to fight against neo-colonialism
in all its forms;Dedicated to the general progress of Africa;Persuaded that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, to the principles of which we reaffirm our adherence, provide a solid foundation
for peaceful and positive co-operation among States;Desirous that all African States should henceforth unite so that the welfare and
well-being of their peoples can be assured;Resolved to reinforce the links between our states by establishing and strengthening
common institutions;Have agreed to the present Charter.
ESTABLISHMENTArticle I1. The High Contracting Parties do by the present Charter establish an Organization
to be known as the ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY.2. The Organization shall include the Continental African States, Madagascar and other
Islands surrounding Africa,
PURPOSESArticle II1. The Organization shall have the following purposes:
a. to promote the unity, and solidarity. of the African States;b. to co-ordinate and intensify their co-operation and efforts to achieve a better life
for the peoples of Africa;c. to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity and independenced. to eradicate all forms of colonialism from Africa; ande.to promote international co-operation, having due regard to the Charter of the United
Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. To these ends, the Member States shall co-ordinate and harmonize their general
policies, especially in the following fields:
a. political and diplomatic co-operation;b. economic co-operation, including transport and communications.c. educational and cultural co-operation;d. health, sanitation, and nutritional co-operation;c. scientific and technical co-operation; andf. co-operation for defence and security.
PRINCIPLESArticle IIIThe Member States, in pursuit of the purposes stated in Article II, solemnly affirm
and declare their adherence to the following principles:
1. the sovereign equality of all Member States;2. non-interference in the internal affairs of States;3. respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State and for its
inalienable right to independent existence;4. peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation or
arbitration;5. unreserved condemnation, in all its forms, of political assassination as well as of
subversive activities on the part of neighboring States or any other State;6. absolute dedication to the total emancipation of the African territories which are
still dependent; 7. affirmation of a policy of non-alignment with regard to all blocs.
MEMBERSHIPArticle IVEach independent sovereign African State shall be entitled to become a Member of
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBER STATESArticle VAll Member States shall enjoy equal rights and have equal duties.Article VIThe Member States pledge themselves to observe scrupulously the principles
enumerated in Article III of the present Charter.
CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIPArticle XXXIIAny State which desires to renounce its membership shall forward a written
notification to the Administrative Secretary-General. At the end of one Year from the date
of such notification, if not withdrawn, the Charter shall cease to apply with respect to
the renouncing State, which shall thereby cease to belong to the Organization.
Source:from Organization of African Unity: Basic Documents and Resolutions (Addis
Ababa: n.d., The Provisional Secretariat of the Organization of African Unity), pp. 7-13.
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© Paul Halsall, July 1998