No timetable set for African unity
Wade, left, and Gaddafi had backed the immediate formation of an African government [EPA]
African nations failed to reach a firm timetable on steps towards a so-called United States of Africa after leaders were deeply divided over the issue at a three-day summit in Ghana.
A compromise reached late on Tuesday saw the African Union commission four studies to look at the practicalities of the idea of a single continental government.
African leaders had been split between those seeking to install an African federal government immediately and others who favoured a more gradual approach.
The final declaration of the summit was delayed by 10 hours as the two sides tried to reach a compromise.
"Africa shall evolve. It's not a revolution we are invoking so we cannot give you a timeline," John Kufuor, Ghana's president, said latye when asked why no timetable had been set out in the final declaration.
"We are not going to copy any [other union] that you may know like the United States of America or EU but something that is tailor-made for us and will suit our continent."
The studies commissioned by the African Union will examine the impact of the united government on the sovereignty of individual nations, its functions, a timeframe for its establishment and how it will be funded.
The push for a union government reflected a belief among some member states that the current African Union commission was failing to deliver, with even Alpha Oumar Konare, the commission chairman, acknowledging that the body's powers were ill-defined.
"We have all agreed that our common and final goal is the United States of Africa. The debate was not easy," Konare said.
"An audit has to be done to clarify some of the concepts because there is a lot of confusion."
Time to mature
However some leaders such as Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, said he wanted to give the African Union more time to mature rather than be completely overhauled.
Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's leader, and Abdoulaye Wade, his Senegalese counterpart had advocated the immediate formation of a continental government.
Diplomatic sources saying that Wade had at one stage threatening to begin his own fast-track process with a group of mainly west African states.
Gaddafi and Wade were not in their seats in the conference hall when the closing Accra Declaration was read to reporters.