What role did the O.A.U play in the fight against apartheid?

What role did the O.A.U play in the fight against apartheid?

The Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) was formed on 25thmay 1963 at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.




The OAU was a brain child of Dr Kwame Nkrumah president of Ghana andsupported by Dr Million Obote of Uganda, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Nasser of Egypt

It drew membership from 32 countries across Africa

One of its objectives was to help in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and southern Rhodesia.

What role did the O.A.U play in the fight against apartheid?




  • OAU stand for the organization of African unity which was formed in 1963.
  • O.A.U formed the Liberation Committee in 1974 with its headquarters in Dar es slaam. This committee condemned apartheid and gave help to liberation movements in south Africa
  • The OAU called upon the member states to make a financial contribution to towards the liberation struggle in South Africa.
  • Members of O.A.U trained freedom fighters of the A.N.C. For example Libya, Ethiopian and Tanzania trained the freedom fighters.
  • O.A.U also gave military hardware to the South African freedom fighters. This included arms and ammunition.
  • Used radios ,magazines and journals to attack and expose the evils of apartheid.




  • O.A.U convinced the European powers in 1970 not to sell arms to South Africa apartheid regime.
  • The O.A.U put pressure on Britain to exclude South Africa from the Olympic Games.
  • It used sanctions to isolate the apartheid regime by threatening to boycott international games if South Africa attended.
  • Members of O.A.U formed the Frontline states, which were called upon to provide military personal in the fight against apartheid.
  • The O.A.U mobilized its members to protest against the tour to South Africa by the British rugby team.
  • O.A.U imposed hard trade restrictions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. For example South African air transport was denied links in the member states.
  • The O.A.U provided refugee to the Africans who were running from the harsh treatment in South Africa.
  • In 1968, the O.A.U called upon international bodies such as WHO, FAO ILO to dismiss South Africa from the membership which they effectively did.




  • The O.A.U became the mouth piece for voicing the problems of blacks in South Africa.
  • Provided education to South African nationalists who later provided leadership in the struggle against apartheid.
  • Called upon the UNO to put sanctions on South African apartheid government.

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