Haiti to Become Full Member of the African Union in June

In the next summit of the regional organization in June in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, Haiti, the first black republic in the world history, will officially become a member of the African Union (AU). With this admittance, Haiti will be the only first member nation with no geographical connection to join the continent! Although Haiti is geographically disconnected with the region, it shares some political and cultural ties with Africa and the union could be of mutual benefit to the two. Most Haitians look distinctively West African; their Creole dialects are often close translations of African languages into English or French. Haitian national dishes are barely changed versions of African food (compare Ghana's "waakye" to Nevis's "cook-up"). Even their level of poverty is very similar to many African nations than their wealthier Caribbean neighbors.


We might remember that, in a speech in 2009, the deposed late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, then chairman of the African Union, expressed his hope that one day there will be a United States of Africa and it will include "Caribbean islands with African populations" such as Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. When Haiti was struck by the devastating earthquake in 2010, the continent pledged $8 million towards Haiti. Senegal offered free land and Haitian students a place at its university. By joining the AU, Haiti will be included in the debt cancellation scheme and benefit from the China-AU investments. The union will also facilitate free trade between Haiti and other member states. Gaddafi also envisaged a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for the AU member states.

The African Union (AU) was founded in 2002 by replacing the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), created in 1963 and it presently represents almost the entire African continent with 54 member states. This intergovernmental organization was created to promote unity and solidarity of African states, to spur economic development, and to promote international cooperation.

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