Essay Example on Introduction to the African Union








Introduction to the African Union The African Union is a regional organization committed to facilitating pan continental integration The Constitutive Act of the African Union was adopted at Lome Togo on July 11 2000 and entered into force in 2001 Today the AU consists of 55 member states with Monaco rejoining the organization after 33 years Chaired by Alpha Conde the President of Guinea the Assembly of the African Union is the highest decision making organ in the African Union and consists of the heads of state of AU member states Image The African Union Conference Center and office complex in Addis Ababa Ethiopia built with Chinese assistance Official Bodies The Peace and Security Council PSC was proposed at the Lusaka Summit in 2001 and established in 2004 It is the standing organ of the AU for the prevention management and resolution of conflicts It forms the foundation of the African Peace and Security Architecture APSA which is the umbrella term for the main AU mechanisms for promoting peace security and stability in Africa The PSC was established to promote collective security within the African Union and serve as an early warning system to isolate conflict and crisis situations while facilitating swift and efficient responses Located at Midrand South Africa the Pan African Parliament is the highest legislative body of the AU consisting of 265 elected representatives from the AU s 55 member states It is meant to enhance civil political participation in the process of democratic governance

The Economic Social and Cultural Council ECOSOCC is an advisory organ composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the Union The African Court of Justice and Human Rights is the African Union s predominant judicial agency Founded in 2004 the court was created from a merger of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights and the Court of Justice of the African Union Hence it has two chambers one for general legal matters and one for rulings on the human rights treaties The court plays both an advisory opinion role and adjudicative role The AU has 7 Specialized Technical Committees STCs that enable the AU to tackle sectoral issues at a ministerial level The Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs The Committee on Trade Customs and Immigration Matters The Committee on Industry Science and Technology Energy Natural Resources and Environment The Committee on Transport Communications and Tourism The Committee on Health Labour and Social Affairs The Committee on Education Culture and Human Resources The AU has three key financial institutions The African Central bank The African Monetary Fund and The African Investment Bank Works are in progress to have the African Monetary Fund incorporated into the African Central Bank The AU has brought the timeline for the establishment of the African Central Bank forward from 2021 to 2018 

The African Union has also placed increasing priority on the development of an African economic union reminiscent of the European Union To achieve economic integration policy makers in the AU are counting on existing regional economic communities RECs such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union WAEMU to be the main building blocks of the new economic union Sy Sow 2016 Progress is slow however and very much contingent on the development of the African Central Bank Significant Decisions Declarations of the Assembly The AU Commission Strategic Plan 2014 2017 covers eight priority areas 1 Human capacity development focusing on health education science research technology and innovation 2 Agriculture and agro processing 3 Inclusive economic development through industrialisation infrastructure development agriculture and trade and investment 4 Peace stability and good governance 5 Mainstreaming women and youth into all our activities 6 Resource mobilisation 7 Building a people centred Union through active communication and branding and 8 Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Union and all its organs Agenda 2063 builds on the Lagos Plan of Action The Abuja Treaty

The Minimum Integration Programme the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa PIDA the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme CAADP and The New partnership for Africa s Development NEPAD in creating a strategic framework for the socio economic development of Africa for the next 4 decades African Union 2017 The guiding vision for Agenda 2063 is the AU Vision of An integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena Mandate of Committee The Mission of the African Union is encapsulated in the following statement An efficient and value adding institution driving the African integration and development process in close collaboration with African Union Member States the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens The Guiding Values of the African Union Commission are Respect for diversity and teamwork 

Think Africa above all Transparency and accountability Integrity and impartiality Efficiency and professionalism and Information and knowledge sharing The AU is the world s only regional or international organisation that explicitly allows its members to intervene another on humanitarian and human rights grounds This principle originates from The Responsibility to Protect a 2001 report from the ICISS International Commission on intervention and State Sovereignty in which sovereign states are asserted to share the responsibility to protect their own citizens from unavoidable catastrophe such as mass murder rape and starvation Other broader community states equally share the same responsibility and have to step in when the sovereign states are unwilling or unable to do so themselves However it should be noted that the Assembly the AU s decision making body has to refer to the specific circumstances provided for in the AU Constitutive Act when deciding upon the exercise of this right

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