In 1963 the Organization
of African Unity was formed with 33 members. By 1973 8 more
independent African states had joined, and by 2002 when the OAU was
replaced by the African Union there were a total of 53 of 54 African
states who were members.
In 1983 Ethiopia issued a set of five stamps
celebrating the 10th anniversary of the OAU. One of the stamps has two
maps, one showing an outline map of Africa, with all of the countries
who joined the OAU in white. The other map shows the same outline map
of Africa with all of the countries who belonged to the OAU in 1973 in
In 1984 Morocco withdrew from the OAU when the Sehrawi
Arab Democratic Republic was recognized. Zaire, now known as the
Democratic Republic of Congo, suspended its membership for the same
reason. The SADR is a proposed independent state occupying the Western
Sahara, once claimed by Mauritania. It is recognized by many of the
other African states.