Air Afrique was founded on March 28, 1961. Its main shareholders at the time were Air France, Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT), Société pour le Développement du Transport Aérien en Afrique (SODETRAF) and the following West African countries: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Upper Volta, Senegal. Cameroon and Gabon withdrew from the consortium in the early 1970s, while Togo joined in January 1968. UAT passed on its stake in Air Afrique to UTA, following its merger with Compagnie de Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI) in 1963. UTA's stake in turn passed into the hands of Air France, when that airline acquired a controlling stake in its erstwhile rival in 1990.