About the AUC
The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On September 9, 1999, the heads of state and government of the Organization of African Unity issued a declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union (OAU), with a view, among others, to accelerate the process of integration in the continent to enable it to play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded by certain negative aspects of globalization.
The main objectives of the OAU were, among others, to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member states and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
Indeed, as a continental organization, the OAU provided an effective forum that enabled all member states to adopt coordinated positions on matters of common concern in international fora and defend the interests of Africa effectively.
Through the OAU Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, the continent worked and spoke as one with undivided determination in forging an international consensus in support of the liberation struggle and the fight against apartheid.
The Vision of the AU
- The AU is Africa's premier institution and principal organization for the promotion of accelerated socio-economic integration of the continent, which will lead to greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples.
- The AU is based on the common vision of a united and strong Africa and on the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion amongst the peoples of Africa.
- As a continental organization it focuses on the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent as a prerequisite for the implementation of the development and integration agenda of the Union.
The AU Commission
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 common positions of the Union; prepares strategic plans and studies for the consideration of the Executive Council; elaborates, promotes, coordinates and harmonizes the programs and policies of the Union with those of the RECs; ensures the mainstreaming of gender in all programs and activities of the Union.
Portfolio of the Commission
- PEACE AND SECURITY: Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, and Combating Terrorism
- POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Human Rights, Democracy, Good Governance, Electoral Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons
- INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENERGY: Energy, Transport, Communications, Infrastructure and Tourism
- SOCIAL AFFAIRS: Health, Children, Drug Control, Population, Migration, Labor and Employment, Sports and Culture
- HUMAN RESOURCES, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Education, Information Technology Communication, Youth, Human Resources, Science and Technology
- TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Trade, Industry, Customs and Immigration Matters
- RURAL ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE: Rural Economy, Agriculture and Food Security, Livestock, Environment, Water and Natural Resources and Desertification
- ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Economic Integration, Monetary Affairs, Private Sector Development, Investment and Resource Mobilization