The Constitutive Act of the AU was adopted at Lomé, Togo, in 2000, the act was ratified in 2001, and in July the OAU held its last summit as the AU came into existence. The OAU continued to function, however, during a yearlong transition period, until the first official summit of the AU was held in July, 2002. The Pan-African Parliament, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, was inaugurated in 2004, initially as a purely advisory body. The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), established in 2001 by the OAU as a program to promote African development, was fully integrated into the AU in 2010 when its secretariat became the AU's NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency. The AU has authorized a number of peacekeeping and joint military forces to reduce instability and counter security threats in member nations. In 2018 many AU members signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement; among those not initially party to it, however, were Nigeria and South Africa, two of the continent's most important economies.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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