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AU leaders meet for Africa Day

Leaders from 54 African Union member states have gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Africa Day

PRETORIA - Leaders from 54 African Union (AU) member states have gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to celebrate 50 years of formalised solidarity.

Extravagant celebrations have been laid on for the Africa Day event.

Officials will debate the future of the continental organisation and a football match will take place thereafter.

Authorities will spend most of the day in a giant hall, built by China to house the AU.

The AU has come a long way from the days when it was known as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

The OAU was set up in 1963 to secure independence for countries under colonial rule and to build on the new status for independent states.

Some 39 years later, the AU was established to break the mold of uncritical acceptance of dictators and other continental problems.

But critics believe the AU still has a long way to go.