Thursday, February 2, 2017

Map: Which Countries are in the African Union?

This map and explainer will be updated whenever there's a change in AU membership, including suspensions and reinstatements. News about each change will be published in separate articles, which you can find listed below, or by viewing all African Union content on PolGeoNow.

African Union members map: Map of Africa, showing which countries are in the African Union (AU) (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Article by Evan Centanni

What is the African Union?

Formed launched in 2002 as a replacement for the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU), the AU is an intergovernmental organization that works on increasing cooperation, stability, and development within the continent of Africa. The organization is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Ethiopia is the only African country that the European empires never colonized, and is also the second most populous country in Africa.)

Flag of the African Union (AU)Organization Name:  
• African Union (English)
• al-Āthḥād al-’Āfrīqī (Arabic)
• Union africaine (French)
• União Africana (Portuguese)
• Unión Africana (Spanish)
• Umoja wa Afrika (Swahili)
Launched: 2002 in Durban, South Africa
Headquarters: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Website: www.au.int
Compared to the neighboring European Union (EU), the AU is only a loose forum for cooperation between its member countries. AU members do not have an integrated economic system, union-wide laws, or shared foreign policy, though further integration is a goal for the future.

After the readmission of Morocco, the African Union now includes every UN-recognized country in Africa. The parts of Africa not represented in the AU are a few groups of offshore islands controlled by European countries, as well the small Spanish enclaves in North Africa. The breakaway Republic of Somaliland is not a member, but is considered by the AU to be part of member-state Somalia.

Changes to African Union Membership

Political Geography Now has reported on all changes to the African Union members map, including suspensions and reinstatements, since 2013. The news articles for each of these changes, with maps pointing out the countries involved, are listed here:


Map of Africa showing active and suspended members of the African Union (AU). Updated for the January 2017 admission of Morocco and the April 2016 lifting of the Central African Republic's suspension (colorblind accessible).Morocco Joins African Union; CAR Un-suspended (Map)
The North African kingdom of Morocco joined the AU in January 2017, 33 years after withdrawing from an earlier version of the organization. The Central African Republic's suspension was lifted in April 2016.

Full map and article
Map of Africa showing active and suspended members of the African Union (AU). Updated for the September 2015 suspension and reinstatement of Burkina Faso (colorblind accessible).African Union Suspends Burkina Faso, Then Reinstates it Again
In September 2015, the West Africa country of Burkina Faso was suspended from the AU after a military coup, but quickly reinstated to active membership when the coup leaders backed down.

Full map and article
Map of Africa showing active and suspended members of the African Union (AU). Updated for the June 2014 reinstatement of suspended members Egypt and Guinea Bissau (colorblind accessible).African Union Reinstates Egypt and Guinea Bissau
North Africa's Egypt and West Africa's Guinea Bissau both had their AU suspensions lifted in June 2014, after each held new elections to replace a coup-installed government.

Full map and article
Map of Africa showing active and suspended members of the African Union (AU). Updated for the January 2014 reinstatement of suspended member Madagascar (colorblind accessible).Madagascar Un-suspended from African Union 
The African island country of Madagascar ended its five-year suspension from the AU in January 2014, after a coup-installed military government was replaced with a newly elected president.

Full map and article
Map of Africa showing active and suspended members of the African Union (AU). Updated for the July 2013 suspension of Egypt (colorblind accessible).Egypt Suspended from African Union 
The North African country of Egypt, one of Africa's largest, was suspended from the AU in July 2013 after a military coup.

Full map and article



Low-resolution graphic of the African Union flag is displayed under fair use principles (source).