The vision of the African Union is that of "An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena." This vision of a new, forward-looking, dynamic and integrated Africa will be fully realized through relentless struggle on several fronts and as a long-term endeavor.
On September 9th, 1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalization.
The African Union has shifted focus from supporting liberation movements in the erstwhile African territories under colonialism and apartheid, as envisaged by the OAU since 1963 and the Constitutive Act, to an organization spear-heading Africa's development and integration.
AU today comprises 54 African States. The Assembly is the African Union's (AU's) supreme organ and comprises Heads of State and Government from all Member States. It determines the AU's policies, establishes its priorities, adopts its annual program and monitors the implementation of its policies and decisions.