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The African and Malagasy Union (AMU) ( ) was an intergovernmental organization created to promote cooperation among former French colonies in Africa. The organization derives its name from the name of the continent of Africa and from the former Malagasy Republicmarker, now Madagascarmarker. The organization went defunct in 1985.

History

The organization was founded in 12 September 1961 in Antananarivomarker by members of the Brazzaville Group of French Speaking States developing out of a meeting held in Brazzavillemarker, Republic of the Congomarker in December 1960. Twelve francophone countries agreed to maintain close relationships but also a special relationship with the former colonial power, Francemarker. The original aims were both economic and political: to adopt common stands on international issues, to promote economic and culture cooperation, and to maintain a common defense organization. However, this caused a problem: the organization would have to depend on France. The diversity, geography, and post-colonial problems of the different countries stopped the organization from ever becoming significant.

In March 1964 the UAM changed its name to the Afro-Malagasy Union for Economic Cooperation (Union Africaine et Malgache de Cooperation Economique; UAMCE). Subsequently, it confined itself to economic affairs and by 1966 had become inactive.

The African and Malagasy Common Organization (Organization Commune Africaine et Malgache; OCAM) was the successor to the UAMCE. It was set up at Nouakchottmarker, Mauritaniamarker in February 1965 and comprised the original 12 members of the UAM with the addition of Togomarker. In May 1965 its membership was increased by the addition of Congo marker and Rwandamarker. In June 1965, however, Mauritania withdrew. The remaining 14 then signed the new OCAM charter on 27 June at a meeting in Antananarivomarker, Madagascarmarker. The aims of the organization were economic, social, technical, and cultural cooperation. OCAM dropped the political and defense objectives that its predecessor, the UAM, had attempted to embrace. It created the structures of an international organization: a Conference of Heads of State and Government, a Council of Ministers, a Secretariat and Secretary-General, and established its headquarters at Banguimarker in the Central African Republicmarker. It developed a number of joint services and of these the most successful and most well known is the multinational airline Air Afrique. In 1979 the airline was separated from OCAM.

The organization's later history became increasingly troubled. Mauritiusmarker joined in 1970. Congo (Kinshasa), by then renamed Zairemarker, withdrew in 1972; Congo marker in 1973; Cameroon, Chad and Madagascar in 1974; Gabon in 1977. However, some of the se countries retained their links with OCAM's various agencies. In 1982 OCAM held a summit at Abidjanmarker, Cote d'Ivoiremarker; it had then changed its name, though only to substitute Mauritius for Madagascar, to Organization Commune Africaine et Mauricienne. OCAM, also, has ceased to operate. The organization officially went extinct in 1985.

Member states

Founding members:

Joined 1962:

Joined 1970:

References




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