African and Malagasy Union

African and Malagasy Union
African and Malagasy Union

  Founding members
  Members that joined 1965
  Member that joined 1970
Formation 12 September 1961
Extinction 1985
Type Intergovernmental organization
Legal status defunct
Purpose/focus Various; originally cooperation
Headquarters Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
Official languages French
Main organ Various

The African and Malagasy Union (AMU) (French: Union Africaine et Malgache (UAM)) 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 Republic, now Madagascar. The organization went defunct in 1985.[1]


The organization was founded in 12 September 1961 in Antananarivo by members of the Brazzaville Group of French Speaking States developing out of a meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo in December 1960. Twelve francophone countries agreed to maintain close relationships but also a special relationship with the former colonial power, France. 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.[2]

In March 1964 the UAM changed its name to the Afro-Malagasy Union for Economic Cooperation (Union Africaine et Malgache de Coopération Économique; UAMCE). Subsequently, it confined itself to economic affairs and by 1966 had become inactive.[3]

The African and Malagasy Common Organization (Organization Commune Africaine et Malgache; OCAM) was the successor to the UAMCE. It was set up at Nouakchott, Mauritania in February 1965 and comprised the original 12 members of the UAM with the addition of Togo. In May 1965 its membership was increased by the addition of Congo (Kinshasa) and Rwanda. In June 1965, however, Mauritania withdrew. The remaining 14 then signed the new OCAM charter on 27 June at a meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar. 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 Bangui in the Central African Republic. 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. Mauritius joined in 1970. Congo (Kinshasa), by then renamed Zaire, withdrew in 1972; Congo (Brazzaville) in 1973; Cameroon, Chad and Madagascar in 1974; Gabon in 1977. However, some of these countries retained their links with OCAM's various agencies. In 1982 OCAM held a summit at Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; 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.[2] The organization officially went extinct in 1985.[1]

Member states

Founding members:

Joined February 1965:

Joined May 1965:

Joined 1970:


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