Haiti, member of the African Union
Haiti will become a full member of the African Union in June 2016.
Haiti may not have any geographic ties to Africa, but as an impoverished Caribbean state with its political and cultural legacy, it is definitely attached to the continent and the union could be of mutual benefit to the two. With its admittance in the next African Union summit in June 2016 in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, Haiti will be the only first member nation with no geographical connection to join the continent. In 2012, Haiti indicated its interest to move from its observer status to member status. Haiti always had a special relationship with Africa. Between 1307 and 1312, Haiti was the first Caribbean country to engage in pre-Columbian trade with Africa, where Africans cultivated the banana crop and established settlements in Haiti. In a speech in 2009, the deposed late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, then chairman of the African Union said, one day there will be a United States of Africa and it will include "Caribbean islands with African populations" such as Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.