India has extended US $15 million grant to Niger in support of organising the African Union summit scheduled in July 2019 in Niamey. The support was provided in response to a specific request made by the Niger government to India. Niger is hosting the AU Summit for the first time. It will be held from July 7-8, 2019 in Niamey, which is expected to launch the historic African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
India’s grant assistance to Niger for organizing AU Summit will further contribute towards enhancing bilateral ties between two countries. It is also reiteration of India’s firm commitment to its developmental partnership with Africa.
About African Union (AU)
It is pan-Africa continental union consisting of 55 countries. Its structure is loosely modelled on that of European Union. It is headquatered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It was founded in May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched in July 2002 in South Africa. It had replaced Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
Main objectives: (i) Promote unity and cooperation among African nations and strive to spread democracy and good governance in the continent. (ii) Accelerate process of integration in continent to enable it play its rightful role in global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems. (iii) Safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and (iv) Promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
Structure: AU Assembly is its most important decisions making body. It is a semi-annual meeting of heads of state and government of its member states. It also has official bodies such as Peace and Security Council and Pan-African Parliament.