Wikipedia, March 2, 2011
The African Union (abbreviated AU in English, and UA in its other official languages) is a union consisting of 53 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco (some partly-African European states, such as France and Spain, are not in the AU). Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU’s secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.