Minnesota companies and nonprofits can play an important role in African Union's progress

At a time when the European Union is under severe pressure to change dramatically or perhaps even break apart as evidenced by the recent Brexit vote and a perceived immigrant crisis in some countries, there is a place where the European model is moving in the opposite direction. The members of the African Union (AU), formed in 1999, seek an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,” according to its vision.

The AU sees itself as an organization that is “spearheading Africa’s development and integration.” The AU, widely known for its peacekeeping troops sent to warring countries, is interested in developing more trade and currency linkages as a way to develop the continent’s economies.