African leaders have ended their three-day summit in Ghana without reaching agreement on how to establish a single government for the continent.
Not all the African leaders at the summit saw eye to eye on unity
Libya said it wanted it to be set up at once but others supported gradual integration through regional blocs.
African Union Chairman and Ghanaian leader John Kufuor said the gathering had not produced winners and losers.
They agreed to set up a committee to establish a road map and a time frame for a union government.
Gaddafi early exit
The BBC's Will Ross in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, says to many people, the outcome of the African Union's ninth summit will be no surprise as the immediate creation of such a government always seemed a totally unrealistic proposition.
Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, who had called for the immediate establishment of a single government, foreign policy and army, left the summit before it was officially ended by Mr Kufuor at close to midnight.
"We met in the debates with a commonality of perspective, a common vision in principle for the realisation of union government," the AU chairman said.
"On that there have been no differences, and that will be welcome and reassuring for the African peoples who are awaiting the outcome of our debate."
Some people will question whether the summit really achieved much at all with the compromise that was reached, our reporter says.
In a change from the normal nature of such summits, the presidents chose not to focus on the immediate challenges facing the continent, such as the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia.
It did reveal, however, the differences of opinion on the idea of political integration in Africa.
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said he backed economic integration but said Africa was too diverse for one government.
"Politically we should only integrate with people who are either similar or compatible with us," he said, according to Uganda's state-owned media.
Senegal, one of Africa's most stable democracies, backed Mr Gaddafi's call for the immediate set up of a pan-African government.
Since the idea of African political unity was first pushed - by Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence in 1957 - there has been little progress.
With this commitment to a step-by-step approach, our correspondent says the question remains - how large will the steps be and how far will they ever go down the road towards a so-called United States of Africa?
Meanwhile, representatives from the European Union attending the summit urged closer co-operation between the two continents on issues such as security or migration.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed that migration should be a source of prosperity, not a human tragedy.