Survey of African International Organizations



The main source for this report is the publication African International Organization Directory, and African participation in other international organizations (published October 1984).

This is based on the 21st edition of the Yearbook of International Orgagizations (1984/85) especially Volumes 1 and 2 (published August and September 1984).

The information in the African volume was specially updated after the publication of Volumes 1 and 2 of the Yearbook. The latest data on African organizations is therefore given from the African volume, but comparative figures between continents and for non-African bodies are derived from the Yearbook.

Additional information presented here was derived by computer during production of the African volume but does not appear in that volume.


It is important to distinguish in this report between the following categories:

  • (a) information on "African international organizations" headquartered in Africa (e.g. OAU)
  • (b) information on "international organizations primarily concerned with Africa", but not necessarily headquartered there (e.g. International African Institute)
  • (c) information on "international organizations with offices in Africa" but not necessarily primarily concerned with Africa (e.g. United Nations Environment Programme)
  • (d) information on "international organizations with African membership", irrespective of where the organization has its headquarters or regional office


Although every effort is made to ensure that the information on organizations from which this report is derived is as complete and accurate as possible, the following difficulties affect the validity of the tables presented here:

  • difficulty in tracing organizations;
  • inadequate, inaccurate or out-of-date information from organizations contacted or from supplementary sources;
  • editorial, typesetting and computer processing errors.

Such errors are remedied, when possible, in later editions of the publications on which this report is based.

Notes on organizational types

Throughout this report reference is made to a system of classifying organizations, developed for the sections of the Yearbook of International Organizations and used in the African International Organization Directory. It has been used to order statistical data on the organizations. The organization types are denoted by the following section codes:

  • A: Federations of international organizations
    • A.1 Intergovernmental
    • A.2 Nongovernmental

  • B: Universal membership organizations
    • B.l Intergovernmental
    • B.2 Nongovernmental

  • C: Inter-continental organizations (e.g. Afro-Asian)
    • C.l Intergovernmental
    • C.2 Nongovernmental

  • D: Regional and sub-regional organizations (e.g. Africa, East Africa)
    • D.1 Intergovernmental
    • D.2 Nongovernmental

  • E: Semi-autonomous organizations (e.g. African regional organizations of universal membership organizations, Centres or commissions of other African organizations)
    • E.l Intergovernmental
    • E.2 Nongovernmental

  • F: Organizations of special form (e.g. Intergovernmental banks, funds, information systems, networks, clubs)
    • F.l Intergovernmental
    • F.2 Nongovernmental

  • G: Internationally-orientated national organizations (e.g. Centres of African studies)
    • G.l Intergovernmental
    • G.2 Nongovernmental

  • J: Recently reported international organizations

  • M: Multinational enterprises (governmental and nongovernmental)

  • R: Religious orders, secular institutes

  • T: Multilateral treaties and agreements (excluding those establishing intergovernmental organizations)