Afro-Mauritian Common Organization

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Afro-Mauritian Common Organization


(Organisation Commune Africaine et Mauricienne, OCAM), an association of ten African states. As of Jan. 1, 1976, the organization’s members were Benin (joined 1961), the Central African Republic (1961), Gabon (1961), Ivory Coast (1961), Mauritius (1970), Niger (1961), Rwanda (1963), Senegal (1961), Togo (1963), and Upper Volta (1961).

The organization developed out of the Afro-Malagasy Union, founded in 1961 by 12 former French colonies. In March 1964 the union was renamed the Afro-Malagasy Union for Economic Cooperation, and in 1965, at a conference held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, it was reorganized as the Afro-Malagasy and Mauritius Common Organization (OCAM). In addition to nine of the above states, it included Zaire (joined 1965), Cameroon (1961), Mauritania (1961), the Malagasy Republic (1961), the People’s Republic of the Congo (1961), and Chad (1961). By 1974 these states had left OCAM, whose position frequently differed from that of the Organization of African Unity.

A conference of heads of state and government of the OCAM countries, held in August 1974 in Bangui, Central African Republic, adopted a resolution to “depoliticize” OCAM, declaring that the goal of OCAM was “solely to strengthen solidarity and economic, cultural, and social cooperation between the member countries.” The organization’s highest organs are the conference of heads of state and government of member states (convened every two years) and the council of ministers (convened annually). The state secretariat at Bangui is the organization’s permanent administrative body. Its press organ is the quarterly Nations Nouvelles.

Special committees have been established to deal with financial, transportation, cultural, and other affairs. Mauritania, Cameroon, the People’s Republic of the Congo, and Chad participate in some of these committees. Various projects are undertaken with the aid of Western powers and international organizations. OCAM’s political position with regard to general African and international problems is essentially one of moderation and compromise with the Western powers, particularly France, on which the majority of the member countries are still economically dependent.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.