Chairperson of the African Union
Chairperson of the
|Term length||One year|
|Inaugural holder||Thabo Mbeki|
|Formation||9 July 2002|
- History 1
- Role 2
- List 3
- References 4
- External links 5
In 2002, South African President Organisation of African Unity during the term 1986–87.
In January 2007, the assembly elected Ghanaian President John Kufuor over Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir due to the ongoing Conflict in Darfur. The government of Chad threatened to withdraw its membership if Sudan assumed the chair. Some had suggested Tanzania as a compromise candidate from the East African region. By consensus, Ghana was elected instead as it was celebrating its 50th independence anniversary that year.
In January 2010, Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi unsuccessfully tried to extend his tenure by an additional year, saying more time was needed in order to implement his vision for a United States of Africa - of which he was a strong proponent. Libya was at the time one of the largest financial supporters of the AU.
The election of Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in January 2011 was criticized by human rights activists as it undermined the AU's commitment to democracy. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is most likely to be the next chair as he is at present the first vice-chairperson of the African Union Bureau.
|#||Portrait||Chairperson||Took Office||Left Office||Country||Region|
|1||Thabo Mbeki||9 July 2002||10 July 2003||South Africa||Southern Africa|
|2||Joaquim Chissano||10 July 2003||6 July 2004||Mozambique||Southern Africa|
|3||Olusegun Obasanjo||6 July 2004||24 January 2006||Nigeria||West Africa|
|4||Denis Sassou Nguesso||24 January 2006||24 January 2007||Republic of Congo||Central Africa|
|5||John Kufuor||30 January 2007||31 January 2008||Ghana||West Africa|
|6||Jakaya Kikwete||31 January 2008||2 February 2009||Tanzania||East Africa|
|7||Muammar Gaddafi||2 February 2009||31 January 2010||Libya||North Africa|
|8||Bingu wa Mutharika||31 January 2010||31 January 2011||Malawi||Southern Africa|
|9||Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo||31 January 2011||29 January 2012||Equatorial Guinea||Central Africa|
|10||Yayi Boni||29 January 2012||27 January 2013||Benin||West Africa|
|11||Hailemariam Desalegn||27 January 2013||30 January 2014||Ethiopia||East Africa|
|12||Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz||30 January 2014||Incumbent||Mauritania||North Africa|
- "African Union Chooses Kufuor Over Bashir for Chairman".
- "Sudan loses AU chair over Darfur".
- "Gaddafi fails in bid to remain African Union chair".
- "African Union row over Muammar Gaddafi's role".
- "Equatorial Guinea President Named African Union Head; Rights Groups Object".
- "President voted AU deputy chair".
- "Mugabe Scores A Feat, Set To Head AU at 91". radiovop.com. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Babarinde, Olufemi (April 2007). "The EU as a Model for the African Union: the Limits of Imitation" (
- "High hopes for AU Maputo Assembly".
- "Obasanjo Elected AU Chairman". Addis Ababa:
- "CONGO: Profile of Denis Sassou-Nguesso, new AU head". Brazzaville:
- "President Kufuor elected Chairman of AU". Accra:
- Appel, Michael (2 February 2008). "Kikwete takes over AU Chair".
- "Gaddafi vows to push Africa unity".
- "Malawi president takes over as AU president".
- Hennig, Rainer Chr. (1 February 2011). "New AU leader Obiang calls criticism un-African".
- "President Thomas Yayi Boni elected as Chairperson of the African Union for 2012" (
- Stainburn, Samantha (28 January 2013). "Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s PM, is new African Union Assembly chairman".
- "Mauritania leader new African Union chairman".
- Official website