Internal integration in Africa has advanced considerably in the last few years. The African Union (AU) is an organisation with 53 African member states. The AU started its activities in 2002 as the successor to the Organisation of African Union OAU. With the start of the AU, Africa has assumed increased responsibility for its own crises and con icts. Instead of the principle of non-interference in internal affairs that was characteristic of the OAU, the thinking is now that AU members must not remain indifferent in front of the armed conflicts, military coups, and massive violations of human rights going on in the member countries.
Finland supports the African Union on political, thematic and practical levels, and strives to emphasize the AU’s ownership in all its cooperation.
Finland stresses the importance of developing peace mediation in Africa. Finland participates in peace mediation efforts in Africa and endeavours to develop new Finnish know-how in this field. Finland aims at strengthening African Union peace mediation capacity and is active in developing peace mediation in the framework of the EU and the UN.
The African Union Mediation Support Capacity Project, launched in 2009, has entered now into its second three-year phase. The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the mediation support capacity of the AU to resolve conflicts through more gender sensitive, efficient, and effective AU mediation interventions. The anticipated impact is enhanced African conflict prevention and mediation capacity and practices, ultimately aimed at promoting sustainable peace, security and development on the African continent. Finland's total support for programme is 5.9 Meuro (2009-2014). .
Finland support Knowledge Society Development in Africa through the African Leadership in ICT (ALICT) programme. The ALICT programme is based on the African Regional Action Plan for Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE) and is designed to intensify its activities. The objective of this programme is to build the capacities of current and future leaders in ICT and Knowledge Society in Africa. Finland's total support for programme is 6 Meuro (2010-2016).
Finland supports the operationalization of the African Union Disability Architecture (AUDA) (2013-2014, 1 Meuro). The project aims to contribute to the promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in Africa through mainstreaming disability into AU’s and AU Member States’ policies and development activities. Finland's total support for programme is 1 Meuro (2013-2014).