In 1963 the Organisation of African Unity rose from the ashes of colonial rule. Since then, as the African Union, it has expanded and embraced its ever-growing role.
As African countries shook off the shackles of their colonial powers and gained their independence in the 1950s and 1960s, they recognised the need for a unified voice on the continent.
This led to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which officially came into being on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At inception, it comprised 32 independent African states; over the years, the number of member states gradually increased.
However, Morocco withdrew its membership in 1984. Then, in the 1990s, OAU leaders debated an alternative structure for the organisation in response to the rapidly changing global political environment. By 1999, the OAU heads of state and government had issued the Sirte Declaration to establish a new African Union (AU). The AU was launched in Durban, South Africa in 2002, when it convened its first meeting.
On 9 July 2011, South Sudan joined the AU, becoming the 54th country to do so.
Today, Africa Day commemorates the formation of the AU and is celebrated around the world.
The AfroCinema pop-up channel will be available via the DStv app to stream and will be on air from 21 to 30 May on channel 198.
Additionally, the pop-up channel film collection will be available on Catch Up from 21 May to 30 June.
This is an adapted version of a story originally published on Brand South Africa.