Casablanca Group

The Casablanca Group, sometimes known as the 'Casablanca bloc', was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. The group was composed of seven states led by radical, left-wing leaders largely from North Africa - Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, and Morocco.[1] The conflict and eventual compromise between the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group lead to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity.

History

Place-Unite-Africaine-Casablanca
African Unity Square (Place de l'Unité Africaine) in Casablanca

The group first met in 1961 in the Moroccan port city of Casablanca, hence the alliance's name. This conference brought together some of the continent's most prominent statesmen like Gamal Abdel-Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sékou Touré of Guinea.

What united them was a belief in the need for African political unification or federation. They believed that only significant, deep integration, as has since occurred in Europe through the European Union, would enable Africa to defeat colonialism, achieve peace, foster cultural dialogue, increase the continent's geopolitical influence and promote economic development.[2] In other words, they believed in the transfer of many powers from national governments to a supranational, pan-African authority. Nkrumah even argued for the establishment of a pan-African army which could be deployed to fight colonialism or white minority rule across the continent. His famous Pan-Africanist slogan was 'Africa Must Unite!'[3]

However, the Casablanca Group was ultimately unsuccessful. Most other African leaders did not support such radical change. The ideas of its rival, the so-called Monrovia Group - which also believed in Pan-Africanism but not at the expense of nationalism and independent statehood - prevailed. In 1963, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established. All the members of both the Casablanca and Monrovia groups joined, putting their differences to one side. The OAU, now the African Union, has only achieved limited integration and unity of its member states. It is a reflection of the values of the Monrovia Group and a repudiation of the ideas of the Casablanca Group.

As well as disagreeing on the nature of African unity, the groups also took up conflicting positions on the then conflicts in Algeria and Congo. While the Casablanca Group's members pledged to support the Front de Liberation Nationale in its efforts fighting for Algerian independence from France, the Monrovia Group backed their enemies, the French.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Group Evolution". African Development Bank Group. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  2. ^ Pierre Englebert & Kevin C. Dunn (2013), Inside African Politics, London: Lynne Pienner, p. 320 - 321
  3. ^ Kwame Nkrumah (1963), Africa Must Unite, London: Heinemann
  4. ^ Pierre Englebert & Kevin C. Dunn (2013), Inside African Politics, London: Lynne Pienner, p. 320 - 321
Africa Day

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on 25 May 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world.

African Unification Front

The African Unification Front (AUF) is an organisation aiming to promote the political, social and economic union of Africa.

African Union

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa. The intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.

The African Union has an area of around 29 million km2 (11 million sq mi) and includes popular world landmarks, including the Sahara and the Nile. The primary languages spoken include Arabic, English, French and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.

African Union Commission

The Commission of the African Union acts as the executive/administrative branch or secretariat of the AU (and is somewhat analogous to the European Commission). It consists of a number of Commissioners dealing with different areas of policy. The Commission is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It should be distinguished from the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, (based in Banjul, Gambia), which is a separate body that reports to the African Union.

Committee on Cooperation, International Relations, and Conflict Resolutions

The Committee on Cooperation, International Relations, and Conflict Resolution is one of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament. It is charged with the following duties:

Consider issues relating to the development of an efficient policy in matters of cooperation and international relations of the Parliament and the Union.

Consider the conventions and protocols linking the Parliament with regional and international institutions and report to the Parliament.

Carry out examinations on the revision of Protocols and Treaties of the Union.

Assist the Parliament in its efforts of conflict prevention and resolution.Chairperson of the Committee is Hon Elhadj Diao Kante from Guinea.

Deputy Chairperson of the Committee Hon Mrs Diye Ba Mauritania.

Rapporteur of the Committee is Hon Symon V Kaunda of Malawi.

Committee on Gender, Family, Youths, and People with Disabilities

The Committee on Gender, Family, Youths and People with Disabilities is one of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament. It concentrates on issues concerning women, family and people and children with disabilities.

Functions of the Committee:

Consider issues relating to the promotion of gender equality.

Assist Parliament to oversee the development of policies and activities of the Union relating to family, youth and people with disabilities.Chairperson of the Committee is the Hon Bwambale Biira Loice (Uganda).

The Deputy Chairperson is the Hon Blandine Sawagogo Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso).

The Rapporteur is the Hon Paul Temba Nyathi (Zimbabwe).

Committee on Justice and Human Rights

The Committee on Justice and Human Rights is one of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament. It is in charge of law and justice issues in Africa.

Functions of the committee:

Assist Parliament in its role of harmonising and coordinating the laws of Member States.

Promote respect for and develop sound principles of freedom, civil liberties, justice, human and peoples' rights and fundamental rights within the Union.Chairperson of the Committee is the Hon Abdelahad Gamaleldin (Egypt)

The Deputy Chairperson is the Hon Efigênia dos Santos Lima Clemente (Angola)

Rapporteur of the Committee is Hon Abdu Katuntu (Uganda)

Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline

The Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline is one of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament. Its functions are to:

Assist the Bureau in interpretation and application of these Rules of Procedure.

Consider requests for waiver of immunity and discipline submitted under these Rules.

Consider proposals for the amendment of the Rules of Procedure; and consider cases of indiscipline referred to.Chairperson of the committee is Hon Miria Matembe (Uganda)

The Deputy Chairperson is the Hon Ismaël Tidjani Serpos (Benin)

The Rapporteur of the committee is the Hon Abraham Ossei Aidooh (Ghana)

Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment

The Committee on Rural Economy Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment is one of the Ten Permanent Committees of the Pan-African Parliament.

Functions of the committee:

Consider the development of common regional and continental policies in the agricultural sector.

Assist the Parliament to oversee and assist with the harmonisation of policies for rural and agricultural development and promote the development policy and the implementation of programmes of the Union relating of natural resources and environment.The Chairperson of the Committee is Malik Hussein from Sudan.

Louis Chimango from Malawi is Deputy Chairperson.

Diop Hamdi Kalidou from Mauritania is Rapporteur.

Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science, and Technology

The Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology is one of the ten permanent committees of the Pan-African Parliament. It is responsible for the following areas:

Consider issues relating to the development of transport and communications.

Assist Parliament to oversee the development and implementation of policies of the Union relating to transport, communication, science and technology and industry

Consider issues relating to the use of science and technology for the development of the Continent

Assist Parliament to supervise the development policies and the Union implementation programmes for matters of industry, science, technology aof the Committee is Hon Mostefa Boudina of Algeria.

Deputy Chairperson of the Committee is Hon Henriette Massounga Nono from Gabon.

Rapporteur of the Committee is the Hon Suzanne Vos from South Africa.

Court of Justice of the African Union

The Court of Justice of the African Union was originally intended to be the "principal judicial organ" of the African Union (Protocol of the Court of Justice of the African Union, Article 2.2) with authority to rule on disputes over interpretation of AU treaties. The Court has, however, never come into existence because the African Union has decided that it should be merged with the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights to form a new court: the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR). Underlying this decision was the concern at the growing number of AU institutions, which the AU could not afford to support.A protocol to set up the Court of Justice was adopted in 2003, and entered into force in 2009. It was, however, superseded by a protocol creating the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

The merger protocol was adopted during the 11th African Union Summit in July 2008. The united court will be based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Economic, Social and Cultural Council

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) is an advisory body of the African Union designed to give civil society organizations (CSOs) a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes. ECOSOCC is made up of civil society organizations from a wide range of sectors including labour, business and professional groups, service providers and policy think tanks, both from within Africa and the African diaspora.

The Interim President of ECOSOCC was Kenyan Nobel Prize winner Prof. Wangari Maathai. In 2008, she was replaced as President by Cameroonian lawyer Akere Muna of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU).

Executive Council of the African Union

The Executive Council of the African Union is made up of ministers designated by the governments of member countries. They discuss issues of concern and prepare material for the Assembly, to whom they are responsible. They make decisions on five different topics:

foreign trade

social security

food

agriculture

communications.

Intergovernmental Authority on Development

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes. Its headquarters are in Djibouti City.

Monrovia Group

The Monrovia Group, sometimes known as the Monrovia bloc, officially the Conference of Independent African States, was a short-lived, informal association of African states with a shared vision of the future of Africa and of Pan-Africanism in the early 1960s. Its members believed that Africa's independent states should co-operate and exist in harmony, but without political federation and deep integration as supported by its main rival, the so-called Casablanca Group. In 1963, the two groups united to establish a formal, continent-wide organisation, the Organisation for African Unity.

The alliance first met on 8–12 May 1961 in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, one of its leading countries. Other members included Nigeria and most of Francophone Africa, including Senegal and Cameroon. Their approach was more moderate and less radical than that of the Casablanca Group. Its leaders stressed the importance of Africa's newly independent states retaining their autonomy and strengthening their own bureaucracies, militaries and economies. They promoted nationalism, the creed that each nation of Africa should be self-governing, over Pan-Africanism, the belief that the whole continent should seek ever closer union and integration of their politics, society, economy and so on.

The Monrovia Group's ideas ultimately prevailed. In 1963, states from both groups joined to create the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Its Charter places the principles of independent statehood, non-interference and national sovereignty at its heart. The OAU's pursuit of integration was minimal and its opposition to continental federation unequivocal. The OAU, like its successor the African Union (AU), is a reflection of the more nationalist values of the Monrovia Group and a repudiation of the more supra-national ideas of the Casablanca Group.

Organisation of African Unity

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU; French: Organisation de l'unité africaine (OUA)) was established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with 32 signatory governments. One of the main heads for OAU's establishment was Kwame Nkrumah. It was disbanded on 9 July 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki, and replaced by the African Union (AU). Some of the key aims of the OAU were to encourage political and economic integration among member states, and to eradicate colonialism and neo-colonialism from the African continent. Although it achieved some success, there were also differences of opinion as to how that was going to be achieved.

Permanent Representatives' Committee of the African Union

The Permanent Representatives' Committee of the African Union is made up of nominated representatives of member countries by the African Union.

Chair - Nigeria

1st Vice-Chair - Republic of Congo

2nd Vice-Chair - Rwanda

3rd Vice-Chair - Libya

Rapporteur - Botswana

They prepare the work for the Executive Council.

Secretariat of the Pan-African Parliament

In order to allow the Pan-African Parliament's functions to be carried out more smoothly and in a more streamlined fashion, it is assisted by a Secretariat.

Specialised Technical Committees of the African Union

The Specialised Technical Committees are bodies in the African Union responsible to the Executive Council.

They include:

The Specialised Technical Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Labor and Social Affairs.

The Specialised Technical Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.The Assembly sometimes rearrange the existing Committees or create new ones. The Specialized Technical Committees are made up of Ministers or senior officials in charge of sectors within their areas of expertise.

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