The characteristics of the Organization

Vision of the African Union

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The vision of the African Union is that of: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.

This vision of a new, forwardlooking, dynamic and integrated Africa will be fully realized through relentless struggle on several topics and as a long-term endeavour. The African Union has shifted focus from supporting liberation movements in the  African territories under colonialism and apartheid, as envisaged by the OAU since 1963 and the Constitutive Act, to an organization spear-heading Africa’s development and integration. From liberation to progression.

The Objectives of the AU

Officially stated principles:

  • To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa;
  • To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its 54 Member States.
  • To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent.
  • To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples.
  • To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.
  • To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance.
  • To promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments.
  • To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations.
  • To promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.
  • To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples.
  • To coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union;.
  • To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology.
  • To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.

The Organs of the AU

50th_Anniversary_African_Union_Summit_in_Addis_Ababa,_Ethiopia.jpg-The Assembly
Composed of Heads of State and Government or their representatives. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the supreme organ of the Union.

-The Executive Council
Composed of Ministers or Authorities designated by the Governments of Members States. The Executive Council is responsible to the Assembly.

-The Commission
Composed of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, eight Commissioners and Staff members; Each Commissioner shall be responsible for a portfolio.

-The Permanent Representatives’ Committee
Composed of Permanent Representatives of Member States accredited to the Union. The Permanent Representatives Committee is charged with the responsibility of preparing the work of the Executive Council.

-Peace and Security Council (PSC)
By decision AHG/Dec 160 (xxxvii) of the Summit of Lusaka, July 2001, a decision was made for the creation within the African Union of the Peace and Security Council. The Protocol establishing the PSC is in the process of ratification.

-Pan-African Parliament
A Pan-African Parliament, and organ to ensure the full participation of African peoples in governance, development and economic integration of the Continent. The protocol relating to the composition, powers, functions and organization of the Pan-African Parliament has been signed by Member States and is in the process of ratification.

-ECOSOCC
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council, an advisory organ composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the Union. The statutes determining the functions, powers, composition and organization of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council have been prepared and will be submitted to Maputo Summit.

-The Court of Justice
A Court of Justice of the Union shall be established. The statutes defining the composition and functions of the Court of Justice have been prepared and will be submitted to the Assembly in Maputo.

-The Specialized Technical Committees
The following Specialized Technical Committees are meant to address sectoral issues and are at Ministerial Level:

  1. The Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters;
  2. The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs;
  3. The Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters;
  4. The Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment;
  5. The Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism;
  6. The Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs; and
  7. The Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.
  8. The Financial Institutions
  9. The African Central bank
  10. The African Monetary Fund
  11. The African Investment Bank

The AU Commission

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The Commission is the key organ playing a central role in the day-to-day management of the African Union. Among others, it represents the Union and defends its interests; elaborates draft common positions of the Union; prepares strategic plans and studies for the consideration of the Executive Council; elaborates, promotes, coordinates and harmonizes the programmes and policies of the Union with those of the RECs; ensures the mainstreaming of gender in all programmes and activities of the Union.

Members of the Commission

Nkosazana-Dlamini-Zuma-chairperson-of-the-African-Union-Commission.jpgChairperson;
Deputy Chairperson;
Eight (8) Commissioners.
Staff members
Portfolios of the Commission

These will be centered in:

1. PEACE AND SECURITY (Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, and Combating Terrorism…)
2. POLITICAL AFFAIRS (Human Rights, Democracy, Good Governance, Electoral Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons)
3. INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENERGY (Energy, Transport, Communications, Infrastructure and Tourism…)
4. SOCIAL AFFAIRS (Health, Children, Drug Control, Population, Migration, Labour and Employment, Sports and Culture…)
5. HUMAN RESOURCES, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Education, Information Technology Communication, Youth, Human Resources, Science and Technology…)
6. TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Trade, Industry, Customs and Immigration Matters…)
7. RURAL ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE (Rural Economy, Agriculture and Food Security, Livestock, Environment, Water and Natural Resources and Desertification…)
8. ECONOMIC AFFAIRS (Economic Integration, Monetary Affairs, Private Sector Development, Investment and Resource Mobilization…).

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