A brief History of Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U). In May 1963, thirty-two independent African States, with genuine hopes and visions for the continent of Africa, came together in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to create the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Thirty-two countries founded the organisation, a further 21 states joined gradually over the years, with South Africa becoming the 53rd member on 23 May 1994. The OAU started its operations on 13 September 1963, when its Charter was adopted, committed to helping bring about change and freedom to many African countries and restore the dignity of African people. But the origins of the OAU were difficult in fact. The idea almost collapsed before it could get off the ground because of ideological differences. This episode will look at the origins of the OAU and why it failed.