Showing posts with label african union. Show all posts
Showing posts with label african union. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Fact Check: Is the AfCFTA the World's Second Biggest Free Trade Area?

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of October 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Updated for 28th ratification by Mauritius. Colorblind accessible.
The AfCFTA is planned to cover almost all of Africa, but doesn't yet.
The recently-created African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) now has 28 full member countries, with 26 more signed on to the project as future members.

That's a lot of members for a free trade area, and everyone seems to be calling it the "world's biggest free trade area since the WTO". But is that label really accurate?

(If you don't want to read the whole article, scroll down to the conclusion for a short summary.)

Monday, October 21, 2019

Mauritius Becomes Full Member of AfCFTA (Map)

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of October 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Updated for 28th ratification by Mauritius. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Mauritius Ratifies AfCFTA Treaty

Two months ago, we reported on this year's creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an African Union (AU) project to increase trade within Africa. Almost all of Africa's countries have signed on to the AfCFTA, but they only become full members once they've ratified its founding treaty (adopted it into their national laws) and formally registered their ratification with the AU.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Map: What is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?

There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all AfCFTA updates.

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of August 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

New Trade Bloc: What is the AfCFTA Agreement?

Despite being neighbors, most countries in Africa trade more with other continents than with each other - a peculiar leftover of colonialism that the African Union (AU) has long been looking to change. Last year, the organization's member countries finally came together and agreed on the creation of one of the world's most expansive "free trade areas". The new zone, called the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), officially came into being on May 30, 2019, after a minimum threshold of 22 countries confirmed that they had copied its 2018 founding treaty into their national laws (a process called "ratification").

Friday, June 28, 2019

African Union Map Update: Sudan Suspended

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the June 2019 suspension of Sudan (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Sudan Suspended from African Union

On June 6, the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan from membership in the continental organization. This is the first time any country has been suspended from the AU since 2016, when the Central African Republic (CAR) was reinstated after a three-year suspension.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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) as of June 2019, and which member countries are suspended from participation (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?

Launched in 2002 as a replacement for the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU), the African Union (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 on the continent.)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Morocco Joins African Union; CAR Un-suspended (Map)

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union, including active and suspended member countries, updated for the January 2017 admission of Morocco as a member, as well as the April 2016 lifting of the Central African Republic's (CAR) suspension (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

Morocco Rejoins AU after Long Absence

The North African country of Morocco became the 55th member of the African Union (AU) this week, after member countries voted to let it back into the organization after 33 years on its own. Morocco withdrew from the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), an earlier version of the AU, in 1984. The AU now includes every independent country in Africa, not counting the unrecognized breakaway state of Somaliland. The last country to join was South Sudan, which became a member three weeks after declaring independence in July 2011.

Friday, October 9, 2015

African Union Suspends Burkina Faso, Then Reinstates it Again (Map)

Map of the African Union, including active and suspended member countries, updated for the September 2015 suspension and reinstatement of Burkina Faso (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA
Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

Article by Evan Centanni

Coup Crisis
On September 18, Burkina Faso was suspended from the African Union (AU) by the organization's Peace and Security Council. The action was in response to a government takeover by soldiers loyal to the country's former president Blaise Compaore, who was pushed out in a popular uprising a year ago.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

African Union Reinstates Egypt and Guinea-Bissau (Map)

Map of the African Union, including active and suspended members, updated for the June 2014 reinstatement of Egypt and Guinea-Bissau (colorblind accessible).
The African Union as of July 2014. Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba.
License: CC BY-SA
Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Madagascar Un-Suspended from African Union

Map of the African Union, including active and suspended members, updated for the January 2014 reinstatement of Madagascar (colorblind accessible).
The African Union as of March 2014. Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba.
License: CC BY-SA
Premium members click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Subscribe now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mali Conflict Map: Separatists Gain Ground in North (March 2012)

Country Name: Mali (English, French, Bambara)
Official Name: Republic of Mali (English), République du Mali (French)
News Category: Divided Countries
Summary: The rebellion of Tuaregs and other ethnic groups in northern Mali has continued gaining territory, and now threatens major cities in the north, where the rebels seek to establish an independent country called Azawad. Meanwhile, Malian military leaders upset with their government's handling of the rebellion have taken over the country in a coup, leading to increased chaos on the country's suspension from the African Union.

Map of Tuareg rebellion in Northern Mali, showing towns controlled by the MNLA rebel group
Towns captured by the Tuareg-majority MNLA rebel group in Mali. Modified from Wikimedia map by Orionist, incorporating images by Carport and NordNordWest (source). License: CC BY-SA.
Full Story: Mali Divided by Separatist Fighting

Conflict Update
After a month with no territorial gains or losses reported, on March 11 the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) captured of the town of Tessalit in Mali's far north. Home to a major military base and an airport, Tessalit was a major prize for the rebels, most of whom come from the traditionally nomadic Tuareg ethnic group. Their push for independence continued two days later with the storming of Diré and Goundam, two towns near the major northern city of Timbuktu, though it is unclear whether those two towns are still occupied by the MNLA.

Map of the African Union, marking suspended members Mali and Madagascar
The African Union (green) with suspended members
Mali and Madagascar in lighter green. Modified from
this Wikimedia map (public domain).
An unexpected turn of events came on March 21, when the Malian government fell in a military coup. The leaders of the takeover cited President Amadou Toumani Toure's ineffectiveness at combating the Tuareg revolt in the north as their reason; ironically however, the chaos caused by the coup has proved beneficial to the rebels, who on March 23 captured the town of Anefis on the road between Gao and Kidal, two of the north's major cities. The MNLA has boasted that it will soon take those two cities, as well as Timbuktu, and recently it has indeed been reported that Malian troops in Kidal are negotiating a surrender after the city was surrounded by Tuareg militias.

In the confusion, another Tuareg-led rebel group, the Islamist Ancar Dine, has also claimed to control the towns of Tinzaouaten, Tessalit, and Aguelhok, which according to most other sources are actually held by the MNLA. Though the two rebel groups have a share a history of being formed by leaders of former Tuareg rebellions, some local experts doubt that they are actually working together. Meanwhile, the coup in Mali's capital city of Bamako has resulted in the country's suspension from the African Union (AU), an important regional organization which includes every country in Africa except for Morocco. Mali is one of only two currently suspended AU states, the other being Magascar, which also experienced a coup d'etat several years ago.

(Note: For updates to the Mali conflict map, follow the Mali label on Political Geography Now.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Libya Reunited Under Rebels

Country Name (official): Libya (English), Lībyā (Arabic)
News Category: Divided Countries
Summary: Libya's civil war came to an end two weeks ago, as rebels under the National Transitional Council (NTC) completed their two-month campaign to flush out the last forces loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi. After taking the capital city of Tripoli in August, the NTC had already assumed Libya's seat in the United Nations, the African Union, and the Arab League, with formal recognition from 100 U.N. member states. With the end of the war, the air-based foreign military intervention that helped bring victory to the rebels has also now come to a close.
The NTC's last campaigns to reunite Libya. Gaddafi-held cities (green) and
rebel-held cities (black) as of 2 Sep. Rebel movements and capture dates
in red. My own work based on public domain map from Wikipedia (source).

Full Story
Libya's participation in the "Arab Spring" movement happening across the Middle East and North Africa began as a series of protests in February, and quickly transformed into an armed uprising after national leader Muammar Gaddafi responded with violent crackdowns. Soon the country's territory was divided between Gaddafi's government and rebel forces under the National Transitional Council (NTC), with the latter dominating the eastern half of the country as well as the western mountains near Tripoli, the national capital. A near-stalemate held for about five months, as a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone and NATO-led bombing campaign kept Gaddafi's forces at bay. Then, in late August, the rebels suddenly stormed into Tripoli, taking the national capital and many of the surrounding areas. The Gaddafi government only remained in control of a few scattered cities and desert outposts.

See Also: Political Geography Now: Libyan Rebels Take Capital

The NTC's official flag of Libya (bottom) has replaced that
of Gaddafi (top). Public domain, from this Wikipedia page.
For two months following the takeover of Tripoli, the NTC mounted a campaign to drive out the last bastions of Gaddafi loyalist control and reunite the country under their own banner. The first area to fall was the southwestern Fezzan, a desert region with Sabha as its major city, in mid-to-late September. Then came Tripoli's neighbor Bani Walid on 17 October, and finally Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte three days later. As Sirte fell to the rebels, Gaddafi himself was finally captured, and soon died under mysterious circumstances. NTC Chair Mustafa Abdul Jalil declared the war officially over on 23 October. NATO's enforcement and bombing mission ended one week later, following the U.N. Security Council's withdrawal of its authorization for a no-fly zone and military protection of civilians. The rebel victory also brings an end to the dispute over the country's flag (see illustration at left) and its official name, now just "Libya" rather than Gaddafi's inventive "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya."

Wikipedia: 2011 Libyan Civil War

As the NTC rebels expanded their control over the country and Libyan diplomats abroad defected by the dozen, many countries around the world made the gesture of recognizing the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya. One hundred U.N. member states and four non-member states have declared their recognition of the new government, though the point is largely moot now that the NTC officially represents Libya in the United Nations itself. On 16 September, the U.N. General Assembly voted by a majority to hand over the country's seat to the NTC, with 114 countries in favor and only 17 countries from Africa and Latin America voting against (a number of other delegations abstained or were absent). The African Union, within which Muammar Gaddafi was until recently a prominent figure, had declined to fully support the rebels during the war, but finally authorized the NTC to hold Libya's seat in the organization on 20 October. Libya is also a member of the Arab League, which handed representation over to the NTC after the fall of Tripoli in August. Prior to that, Libya's Arab League membership had been suspended in support of the rebels.

Countries officially recognizing the NTC during the war in dark blue, and countries officially opposing it in dark red. Libya in yellow. Countries in lighter colors unofficially acknowledged or opposed the NTC through diplomatic activities or votes in the U.N. General Assembly. Slightly modified from public domain Wikimedia map (source).
Wikipedia: International Recognition of the National Transitional Council

Friday, July 29, 2011

South Sudan Joins African Union

Country Name: South Sudan
Official Name: Republic of South Sudan
News Categories: Intergovernmental Organizations
Summary: New U.N. member South Sudan has been admitted into the African Union, the continent's highest level intergovernmental organization. Formal recognition from individual countries is still continuing.
South Sudan (blue) in the A.U. (green). Modified from
this map by Wikimedia user Heraldry (CC BY-SA).

See Also: New Country: South Sudan

Full Story
Less than three weeks after declaring independence, the new Republic of South Sudan has been admitted into the African Union (A.U.). The A.U., which represents all of Africa's countries except for Morocco, voted with a majority in favor of allowing South Sudan's entrance into the organization. Membership will allow the new state to participate fully in the community of African nations, while the A.U. is soon to begin mediating talks over the remaining disputes between South Sudan and Sudan, the country from which it seceded this month. South Sudan is the 54th member of the African Union, and the first new member since Eritrea joined in 1993.
Map of South Sudan from the CIA
World Factbook
(public domain).

See Also: South Sudan Joins U.N.

In addition to A.U. and U.N. membership, South Sudan has continued to receive recognition from individual countries. Official statements of recognition for the new country have now been released by 97 U.N. members and six other sovereign states. Ninety-five U.N. member countries have not yet formally recognized South Sudan, but none have opposed it's independence - an indication that they all intend to accept it as the world's newest sovereign state.



Countries which have officially stated their recognition of South Sudan's sovereignty (green). South Sudan in blue. Modified from this Wikimedia map (public domain).

Wikipedia: South Sudan, Foreign Relations of South Sudan, African Union