Following its’ founding in 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) cited Africa’s economic integration as an essential component to the continent’s prosperity. In the wake of decolonization and the formation of newly independent African states, the OAU’s emphasis on developing a single market Africa was borne out of a desire to eradicate reliance on the West. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, the relative youth of the OAU’s member-states placed governments on the continent in a precarious position as they squared alliance with foreign powers with the need for aid and capital.