Conflict, Cooperation, and the Creation of the Postcolonial African Regional Order, 1957-1963
This thesis is a work of International History and an investigation of the birth of inter-African relations from Ghana’s Independence in March 1957 to the establishment in May 1963 of Africa’s first and wholly owned political organisation, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa. The OAU’s foundation charter was and still stands as the first and longest-lasting unanimously approved agreement by African states in post-colonial African history. Its real historical importance, this thesis contends, is its contribution to the formal adoption of the lasting nation-state system in Africa as all signatories gave their unanimous support to the sanctity of their states’ right to sovereignty. This thesis therefore uncovers the grand strategies and ensuing diplomacy of three African states – Ghana, Egypt, and Senegal – during their decolonization period and charts the changing course of these states’ policies as diplomatic rifts emerged over how to reach the goal of unity. This period of African history thus saw mass propaganda campaigns, massive political interference in the affairs of other states, and several attempts by leaders to undermine other African regimes to the point of assassination, which situates this period as an African continent and its OAU as not looking outward, but inward. The long road to the foundation of the OAU was therefore the moment when a postcolonial African Regional Order was established where the rules of the game regulating inter-African relations were codified.