African Union in a Nutshell (bigger font for headline)
 

The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

The main objectives of the OAU were, inter alia, 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 frame work 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 to the continent 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.


Quest for Unity

African countries, in their quest for unity, economic and social development under the banner of the OAU, have taken various initiatives and made substantial progress in many areas which paved the way for the establishment of the AU. Noteworthy among these are:

  • Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) and the Final Act of Lagos (1980); incorporating programmes and strategies for self-reliant development and cooperation among African countries.

  • The African Charter on Human and People's Rights (Nairobi 1981) and the Grand Bay Declaration and Plan of Action on Human rights: two instruments adopted by the OAU to promote Human and People's Rights in the Continent. The Human Rights Charter led to the establishment of the African Human Rights Commission located in Banjul, The Gambia.

  • Africa's Priority Programme for Economic recovery (APPER) – 1985: an emergency programme designed to address the development crisis of the 1980s, in the wake of protracted drought and famine that had engulfed the continent and the crippling effect of Africa's external indebtedness.

  • OAU Declaration on the Political and Socio-Economic Situation in Africa and the Fundamental Changes taking place in the World (1990): which underscored Africa's resolve to seize the imitative, to determine its destiny and to address the challenges to peace, democracy and security.

  • The Charter on Popular Participation adopted in 1990: a testimony to the renewed determination of the OAU to endeavour to place the African citizen at the center of development and decision-making.

  • The Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) - 1991: commonly known as the Abuja Treaty, it seeks to create the AEC through six stages culminating in an African Common Market using the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as building blocks. The Treaty has been in operation since 1994.

  • The Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (1993): a practical expression of the determination of the African leadership to find solutions to conflicts, promote peace, security and stability in Africa.

  • Cairo Agenda for Action (1995): a programme for relaunching Africa's political, economic and social development.

  • African Common Position on Africa's External Debt Crisis (1997): a strategy for addressing the Continent's External Debt Crisis.

  • The Algiers decision on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (1999) and the Lome Declaration on the framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes (2000).

  • The 2000 Solemn Declaration on the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation: establishes the fundamental principles for the promotion of Democracy and Good Governance in the Continent.

  • Responses to other challenges: Africa has initiated collective action through the OAU in the protection of environment, in fighting international terrorism, in combating the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, malaria and tuberculosis or dealing with humanitarian issues such as refugees and displaced persons, landmines, small and light weapons among others.

  • The Constitutive Act of the African Union: adopted in 2000 at the Lome Summit (Togo), entered into force in 2001.

  • The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) : adopted as a Programme of the AU at the Lusaka Summit (2001).


Advent of the AU

The OAU initiatives paved the way for the birth of AU. In July 1999, the Assembly decided to convene an extraordinary session to expedite the process of economic and political integration in the continent. Since then, four Summits have been held leading to the official launching of the African Union:

  • The Sirte Extraordinary Session (1999) decided to establish an African Union

  • The Lome Summit (2000) adopted the Constitutive Act of the Union.

  • The Lusaka Summit (2001) drew the road map for the implementation of the AU

  • The Durban Summit (2002) launched the AU and convened the 1st Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union.


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 Objectives of the AU

  • 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 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

The Assembly

Composed of Heads of State and Government or their duly accredited 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:

• 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; and

• The Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.


The Financial Institutions

• The African Central bank
• The African Monetary Fund
• The African Investment Bank


Progress in the implementation of the Constitutive Act

Since the Lusaka Summit decisions on the transition from OAU to AU, progress has been made as follows:

• The preparation and adoption of the Legal Instruments for the operationalization and the launching of the 4 principal organs: The Assembly, The Executive Council, The Commission and the Permanent Representatives Committee.
• The elaboration of the Structure of the Commission and the conditions of service of staff.

Completion of the Studies and Legal instrument for the operationalization of ECOSOCC
• Completion of the Studies on the Financing of the AU

• Preparation of the Statutes of the Court of Justice
• Transfer of assets and liabilities from the OAU to the AU

• Preparation of a Protocol on Relations between the AU and RECS
• Finalization of the Protocol on the Pan-African Parliament (under ratification)

• Finalization of the Protocol on the Peace and Security Council (under ratification)
• Preparation of the Policy Framework for the establishment of the African Standby Force and the Military Staff Committee

• Finalization of the process of electing Members of the Commission by the Assembly of the Union in Maputo.


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 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

 

• Chairperson;
• Deputy Chairperson;

• Eight (8) Commissioners.
• Staff members


Portfolios of the Commission


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…).

 

Constitutive Act of the African Union

We, Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organization of African Unity (OAU):

1. The President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
2. The President of the Republic of Angola
3. The President of the Republic of Benin
4. The President of the Republic of Botswana
5. The President of Burkina Faso
6. The President of the Republic of Burundi
7. The President of the Republic of Cameroon
8. The President of the Republic of Cape Verde
9. The President of the Central African Republic
10. The President of the Republic of Chad
11. The President of the Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros
12. The President of the Republic of the Congo
13. The President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
14. The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
15. The President of the Republic of Djibouti
16. The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
17. The President of the State of Eritrea
18. The Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
19. The President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
20. The President of the Gabonese Republic
21. The President of the Republic of The Gambia
22. The President of the Republic of Ghana
23. The President of the Republic of Guinea
24. The President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau
25. The President of the Republic of Kenya
26. The Prime Minister of Lesotho
27. The President of the Republic of Liberia
28. The Leader of the 1st of September Revolution of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
29. The President of the Republic of Madagascar
30. The President of the Republic of Malawi
31. The President of the Republic of Mali
32. The President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
33. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
34. The President of the Republic of Mozambique
35. The President of the Republic of Namibia
36. The President of the Republic of Niger
37. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
38. The President of the Republic of Rwanda
39. The President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
40. The President of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
41. The President of the Republic of Senegal
42. The President of the Republic of Seychelles
43. The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
44. The President of the Republic of Somalia
45. The President of the Republic of South Africa
46. The President of the Republic of Sudan
47. The King of Swaziland
48. The President of the United Republic of Tanzania
49. The President of the Togolese Republic
50. The President of the Republic of Tunisia
51. The President of the Republic of Uganda
52. The President of the Republic of Zambia
53. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

INSPIRED by the noble ideals which guided the founding fathers of our Continental Organization and generations of Pan-Africanists in their determination to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States;

CONSIDERING the principles and objectives stated in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity and the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community;

RECALLING the heroic struggles waged by our peoples and our countries for political independence, human dignity and economic emancipation;

CONSIDERING that since its inception, the Organization of African Unity has played a determining and invaluable role in the liberation of the continent, the affirmation of a common identity and the process of attainment of the unity of our continent and has provided a unique framework for our collective action in Africa and in our relations with the rest of the world.

DETERMINED to take up the multifaceted challenges that confront our continent and peoples in the light of the social, economic and political changes taking place in the world;

CONVINCED of the need to accelerate the process of implementing the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community in order to promote the socio-economic development of Africa and to face more effectively the challenges posed by globalization;

GUIDED by our common vision of a united and strong Africa and by 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 among our peoples;

CONSCIOUS of the fact that the scourge of conflicts in Africa constitutes a major impediment to the socio-economic development of the continent and of the need to promote peace, security and stability as a prerequisite for the implementation of our development and integration agenda;

DETERMINED to promote and protect human and peoples' rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture, and to ensure good governance and the rule of law;

FURTHER DETERMINED to take all necessary measures to strengthen our common institutions and provide them with the necessary powers and resources to enable them discharge their respective mandates effectively;

RECALLING the Declaration which we adopted at the Fourth Extraordinary Session of our Assembly in Sirte, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, on 9.9. 99, in which we decided to establish an African Union, in conformity with the ultimate objectives of the Charter of our Continental Organization and the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community;
 

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1
Definitions

In this Constitutive Act:

"Act" means the present Constitutive Act;
"AEC" means the African Economic Community;
"Assembly" means the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Union;
"Charter" means the Charter of the OAU;
"Commission" means the Secretariat of the Union;
"Committee" means a Specialized Technical Committee of the Union;
"Council" means the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the Union;
"Court " means the Court of Justice of the Union;
"Executive Council" means the Executive Council of Ministers of the Union;
"Member State" means a Member State of the Union;
"OAU" means the Organization of African Unity;
"Parliament" means the Pan-African Parliament of the Union;
"Union" means the African Union established by the present Constitutive Act.

Article 2
Establishment

The African Union is hereby established in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Article 3
Objectives

The objectives of the Union shall be to:

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

Article 4
Principles

The Union shall function in accordance with the following principles:

(a) sovereign equality and interdependence among Member States of the Union;
(b) respect of borders existing on achievement of independence;
(c) participation of the African peoples in the activities of the Union;
(d) establishment of a common defence policy for the African Continent;
(e) peaceful resolution of conflicts among Member States of the Union through such appropriate means as may be decided upon by the Assembly;
(f) prohibition of the use of force or threat to use force among Member States of the Union;
(g) non-interference by any Member State in the internal affairs of another;
(h) the right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity;
(i) peaceful co-existence of Member States and their right to live in peace and security;
(j) the right of Member States to request intervention from the Union in order to restore peace and security;
(k) promotion of self-reliance within the framework of the Union;
(l) promotion of gender equality;
(m) respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good governance;
(n) promotion of social justice to ensure balanced economic development;
(o) respect for the sanctity of human life, condemnation and rejection of impunity and political assassination, acts of terrorism and subversive activities;
(p) condemnation and rejection of unconstitutional changes of governments.

Article 5
Organs of the Union

1. The organs of the Union shall be:

(a) The Assembly of the Union;
(b) The Executive Council;
(c) The Pan-African Parliament;
(d) The Court of Justice;
(e) The Commission;
(f) The Permanent Representatives Committee;
(g) The Specialized Technical Committees;
(h) The Economic, Social and Cultural Council;
(i) The Financial Institutions;

2. Other organs that the Assembly may decide to establish.

Article 6
The Assembly

1. The Assembly shall be composed of Heads of States and Government or their duly accredited representatives.

2. The Assembly shall be the supreme organ of the Union.

3. The Assembly shall meet at least once a year in ordinary session. At the request of any Member State and on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Member States, the Assembly shall meet in extraordinary session.

4. The Office of the Chairman of the Assembly shall be held for a period of one year by a Head of State or Government elected after consultations among the Member States.

Article 7
Decisions of the Assembly

1. The Assembly shall take its decisions by consensus or, failing which, by a two-thirds majority of the Member States of the Union. However, procedural matters, including the question of whether a matter is one of procedure or not, shall be decided by a simple majority.

2. Two-thirds of the total membership of the Union shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Assembly.

Article 8
Rules of Procedure of the Assembly

The Assembly shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.

Article 9
Powers and Functions of the Assembly

1. The functions of the Assembly shall be to:

(a) determine the common policies of the Union;
(b) receive, consider and take decisions on reports and recommendations from the other organs of the Union;
(c) consider requests for Membership of the Union;
(d) establish any organ of the Union;
(e) monitor the implementation of policies and decisions of the Union as well ensure compliance by all Member States;
(f) adopt the budget of the Union;
(g) give directives to the Executive Council on the management of conflicts, war and other emergency situations and the restoration of peace;
(h) appoint and terminate the appointment of the judges of the Court of Justice;
(i) appoint the Chairman of the Commission and his or her deputy or deputies and Commissioners of the Commission and determine their functions and terms of office.

2. The Assembly may delegate any of its powers and functions to any organ of the Union.

Article 10
The Executive Council

1. The Executive Council shall be composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs or such other Ministers or Authorities as are designated by the Governments of Member States.

2. The Executive Council shall meet at least twice a year in ordinary session. It shall also meet in an extra-ordinary session at the request of any Member State and upon approval by two-thirds of all Member States.

Article 11
Decisions of the Executive Council

1. The Executive Council shall take its decisions by consensus or, failing which, by a two-thirds majority of the Member States. However, procedural matters, including the question of whether a matter is one of procedure or not, shall be decided by a simple majority.

2. Two-thirds of the total membership of the Union shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Executive Council.

Article 12
Rules of Procedure of the Executive Council

The Executive Council shall adopt its own Rules of Procedure.

Article 13
Functions of the Executive Council

1. The Executive Council shall coordinate and take decisions on policies in areas of common interest to the Member States, including the following:

(a) foreign trade;
(b) energy, industry and mineral resources;
(c) food, agricultural and animal resources, livestock production and forestry;
(d) water resources and irrigation;
(e) environmental protection, humanitarian action and disaster response and relief;
(f) transport and communications;
(g) insurance;
(h) education, culture, health and human resources development;
(i) science and technology;
(j) nationality, residency and immigration matters;
(k) social security, including the formulation of mother and child care policies, as well as policies relating to the disabled and the handicapped;
(l) establishment of a system of African awards, medals and prizes.

2. The Executive Council shall be responsible to the Assembly. It shall consider issues referred to it and monitor the implementation of policies formulated by the Assembly.

3. The Executive Council may delegate any of its powers and functions mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Article to the Specialized Technical Committees established under Article 14 of this Act.

Article 14
The Specialized Technical Committees
Establishment and Composition

1. There is hereby established the following Specialized Technical Committees, which shall be responsible to the Executive Council:

(a) The Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters;
(b) The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs;
(c) The Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters;
(d) The Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment;
(e) The Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism;
(f) The Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs; and
(g) The Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.

2. The Assembly shall, whenever it deems appropriate, restructure the existing Committees or establish other Committees.

3. The Specialized Technical Committees shall be composed of Ministers or senior officials responsible for sectors falling within their respective areas of competence.

Article 15
Functions of the Specialized Technical Committees

Each Committee shall within its field of competence:

(a) prepare projects and programmes of the Union and submit it to the Executive Council;
(b) ensure the supervision, follow-up and the evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by the organs of the Union;
(c) ensure the coordination and harmonization of projects and programmes of the Union;
(d) submit to the Executive Council either on its own initiative or at the request of the Executive Council, reports and recommendations on the implementation of the provisions of this Act; and
(e) carry out any other functions assigned to it for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

Article 16
Meetings

Subject to any directives given by the Executive Council, each Committee shall meet as often as necessary and shall prepare its Rules of Procedure and submit them to the Executive Council for approval.

Article 17
The Pan-African Parliament

1. In order to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent, a Pan-African Parliament shall be established.

2. The composition, powers, functions and organization of the Pan-African Parliament shall be defined in a protocol relating thereto.

Article 18
The Court of Justice

1. A Court of Justice of the Union shall be established;

2. The statute, composition and functions of the Court of Justice shall be defined in a protocol relating thereto.

Article 19
The Financial Institutions

The Union shall have the following financial institutions whose rules and regulations shall be defined in protocols relating thereto:

(a) The African Central Bank;
(b) The African Monetary Fund;
(c) The African Investment Bank.

Article 20
The Commission

1. There shall be established a Commission of the Union, which shall be the Secretariat of the Union.

2. The Commission shall be composed of the Chairman, his or her deputy or deputies and the Commissioners. They shall be assisted by the necessary staff for the smooth functioning of the Commission.

3. The structure, functions and regulations of the Commission shall be determined by the Assembly.

Article 21
The Permanent Representatives Committee

1. There shall be established a Permanent Representatives Committee. It shall be composed of Permanent Representatives to the Union and other Plenipotentiaries of Member States.

2. The Permanent Representatives Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of preparing the work of the Executive Council and acting on the Executive Council's instructions. It may set up such sub-committees or working groups as it may deem necessary.

Article 22
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council

1. The Economic, Social and Cultural Council shall be an advisory organ composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the Union.

2. The functions, powers, composition and organization of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council shall be determined by the Assembly.

Article 23
Imposition of Sanctions

1. The Assembly shall determine the appropriate sanctions to be imposed on any Member State that defaults in the payment of its contributions to the budget of the Union in the following manner: denial of the right to speak at meetings, to vote, to present candidates for any position or post within the Union or to benefit from any activity or commitments, therefrom;

2. Furthermore, any Member State that fails to comply with the decisions and policies of the Union may be subjected to other sanctions, such as the denial of transport and communications links with other Member States, and other measures of a political and economic nature to be determined by the Assembly.

Article 24
The Headquarters of the Union

1. The Headquarters of the Union shall be in Addis Ababa in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

2. There may be established such other offices of the Union as the Assembly may, on the recommendation of the Executive Council, determine.

Article 25
Working Languages

The working languages of the Union and all its institutions shall be, if possible, African languages, Arabic, English, French and Portuguese.

Article 26
Interpretation

The Court shall be seized with matters of interpretation arising from the application or implementation of this Act. Pending its establishment, such matters shall be submitted to the Assembly of the Union, which shall decide by a two-thirds majority.

Article 27
Signature, Ratification and Accession

1. This Act shall be open to signature, ratification and accession by the Member States of the OAU in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.

2. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the OAU.

3. Any Member State of the OAU acceding to this Act after its entry into force shall deposit the instrument of accession with the Chairman of the Commission.

Article 28
Entry into Force

This Act shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the instruments of ratification by two-thirds of the Member States of the OAU.

Article 29
Admission to Membership

1. Any African State may, at any time after the entry into force of this Act, notify the Chairman of the Commission of its intention to accede to this Act and to be admitted as a member of the Union.

2. The Chairman of the Commission shall, upon receipt of such notification, transmit copies thereof to all Member States. Admission shall be decided by a simple majority of the Member States. The decision of each Member State shall be transmitted to the Chairman of the Commission who shall, upon receipt of the required number of votes, communicate the decision to the State concerned.

Article 30
Suspension

Governments which shall come to power through unconstitutional means shall not be allowed to participate in the activities of the Union.

Article 31
Cessation of Membership

1. Any State which desires to renounce its membership shall forward a written notification to the Chairman of the Commission, who shall inform Member States thereof. At the end of one year from the date of such notification, if not withdrawn, the Act shall cease to apply with respect to the renouncing State, which shall thereby cease to belong to the Union.

2. During the period of one year referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, any Member State wishing to withdraw from the Union shall comply with the provisions of this Act and shall be bound to discharge its obligations under this Act up to the date of its withdrawal.

Article 32
Amendment and Revision

1. Any Member State may submit proposals for the amendment or revision of this Act.

2. Proposals for amendment or revision shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Commission who shall transmit same to Member States within thirty (30) days of receipt thereof.

3. The Assembly, upon the advice of the Executive Council, shall examine these proposals within a period of one year following notification of Member States, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article;

4. Amendments or revisions shall be adopted by the Assembly by consensus or, failing which, by a two-thirds majority and submitted for ratification by all Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures. They shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the deposit of the instruments of ratification with the Chairman of the Commission by a two-thirds majority of the Member States.

Article 33
Transitional Arrangements and Final Provisions

1. This Act shall replace the Charter of the Organization of African Unity. However, the Charter shall remain operative for a transitional period of one year or such further period as may be determined by the Assembly, following the entry into force of the Act, for the purpose of enabling the OAU/AEC to undertake the necessary measures regarding the devolution of its assets and liabilities to the Union and all matters relating thereto.

2. The provisions of this Act shall take precedence over and supersede any inconsistent or contrary provisions of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community.

3. Upon the entry into force of this Act, all necessary measures shall be undertaken to implement its provisions and to ensure the establishment of the organs provided for under the Act in accordance with any directives or decisions which may be adopted in this regard by the Parties thereto within the transitional period stipulated above.

4. Pending the establishment of the Commission, the OAU General Secretariat shall be the interim Secretariat of the Union.

5. This Act, drawn up in four (4) original texts in the Arabic, English, French and Portuguese languages, all four (4) being equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the OAU and, after its entry into force, with the Chairman of the Commission who shall transmit a certified true copy of the Act to the Government of each signatory State. The Secretary-General of the OAU and the Chairman of the Commission shall notify all signatory States of the dates of the deposit of the instruments of ratification or accession and shall upon entry into force of this Act register the same with the Secretariat of the United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, WE have adopted this Act.

Done at Lome, Togo, this 11th day of July, 2000.

CONSTITUTIVE ACT OF THE AFRICAN UNION
ADOPTED BY THE THIRTY-SIXTH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT

11 JULY, 2000 - LOME, TOGO

1. People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
2. Republic of Angola
3. Republic of Benin
4. Republic of Botswana
5. Burkina Faso
6. Republic of Burundi
7. Republic of Cameroon
8. Republic of Cape Verde
9. Central African Republic
10. Republic of Chad
11. Islamic Federal Republic of the Comoros
12. Republic of the Congo
13. Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
14. Democratic Republic of Congo
15. Republic of Djibouti
16. Arab Republic of Egypt
17. State of Eritrea
18. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
19. Republic of Equatorial Guinea
20. Republic of Gabon
21. Republic of The Gambia
22. Republic of Ghana
23. Republic of Guinea
24. Republic of Guinea Bissau
25. Republic of Kenya
26. Kingdom of Lesotho
27. Republic of Liberia
28. Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
29. Republic of Madagascar
30. Republic of Malawi
31. Republic of Mali
32. Islamic Republic of Mauritania
33. Republic of Mauritius
34. Republic of Mozambique
35. Republic of Namibia
36. Republic of Niger
37. Federal Republic of Nigeria
38. Republic of Rwanda
39. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
40. Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
41. Republic of Senegal
42. Republic of Seychelles
43. Republic of Sierra Leone
44. Republic of Somalia
45. Republic of South Africa
46. Republic of Sudan
47. Kingdom of Swaziland
48. United Republic of Tanzania
49. Republic of Togo
50. Republic of Tunisia
51. Republic of Uganda
52. Republic of Zambia
53. Republic of Zimbabwe


 

Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

CEN-SAD | COMESA | ECCAS | ECOWAS | IGAD | SADC | UMA


Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)

The Community of Sahel-Saharan States CEN-SAD is a framework for Integration and Complementarity. It intends to work, together with the other regional economic communities and the Organization of African Unity, to strengthen peace, security and stability and achieve global economic and social development.

CEN-SAD was established on 4th February 1998 following the Conference of Leaders and Heads of States held in Tripoli (Great Jahamiriya). The Treaty on the establishment of the Community was signed by the Leader of Great El-Fateh Revolution and the Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan. The Central African Republic and Eritrea joined the Community during the first Summit of the organization held in Syrte in April 1999. Senegal, Djibouti and Gambia joined during the N'djamena Summit in February 2000. Others countries joined later, and still more are in the process of joining the Organization.

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Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

At a summit meeting in December 1981, the leaders of the Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) agreed in principle to form a wider economic community of Central African states. CEEAC/ECCAS was established on 18 October 1983 by the UDEAC members and the members of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes States (CEPGL) (Burundi, Rwanda and the then Zaire) as well as Sao Tome and Principe.Angola remained an observer until 1999, when it became a full member. ECCAS began functioning in 1985, but has been inactive since 1992 because of financial difficulties (non-payment of membership fees) and the conflict in the Great Lakes area.The war in the DRC has been particularly divisive, as Rwanda and Angola fought on opposing sides.

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Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa was founded in 1993 as a successor to the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA),which was established in 1981. COMESA formally succeeded the PTA on 8 December 1994. The establishment of COMESA was a fulfilment of the requirements of the PTA Treaty, which provided for the transformation of the PTA into a common market ten years after the entry into force of the PTA Treaty.

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Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The idea for a West African community goes back to President William Tubman of Liberia, who made the call in 1964. An agreement was signed between Côte d'Ivoire,Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in February 1965, but this came to nothing. In April 1972, General Gowon of Nigeria and General Eyadema of Togo re-launched the idea, drew up proposals and toured 12 countries, soliciting their plan from July to August 1973. A meeting was then called at Lomé from 10-15 December 1973, which studied a draft treaty. This was further examined at a meeting of experts and jurists in Accra in January 1974 and by a ministerial meeting in Monrovia in January 1975. Finally, 15 West African countries signed the treaty for an Economic Community of West African States (Treaty of Lagos) on 28 May 1975. The protocols launching ECOWAS were signed in Lomé, Togo on 5 November 1976. In July 1993, a revised ECOWAS Treaty designed to accelerate economic integration and to increase political co-operation, was signed.

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Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD)

The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) was formed in1986 with a very narrow mandate around the issues of drought and desertification. Since then, and especially in the 1990s, IGADD became the accepted vehicle for regional security and political dialogue The founding members of IGADD decided in the mid-1990s to revitalise the organisation into a fully-fledged regional political, economic, development, trade and security entity similar to SADC and ECOWAS. It was envisaged that the new IGADD would form the northern sector of COMESA with SADC representing the southern sector.

One of the principal motivations for the revitalisation of IGADD was the existence of many organisational and structural problems that made the implementation of its goals and principles ineffective. The IGADD Heads of State and Government met on 18 April 1995 at an Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa and resolved to revitalise the Authority and expand its areas of regional co-operation. On 21 March 1996, the Heads of State and Government at the Second Extraordinary Summit in Nairobi approved and adopted an Agreement Establishing the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD.

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Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The concept of a regional economic co-operation in Southern Africa was first discussed at a meeting of the Frontline States foreign ministers in May 1979 in Gaberone. The meeting led to an international conference in Arusha, Tanzania two months later which brought together all independent countries, with the exception of the then Rhodesia, South West Africa and South Africa, and international donor agencies. The Arusha conference in turn led to the Lusaka Summit held in the Zambian capital in April 1980. After adopting the declaration, which was to become known as 'Southern Africa: Towards Economic Liberation', Sir Seretse Khama was elected the first chairman of the SADCC.

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Union du Maghreb Arabe (UMA)

The first Conference of Maghreb Economic Ministers in Tunis in 1964 established the Conseil Permanent Cunsultatif du Maghreb (CPCM) between Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, to coordinate and harmonize the development plans of the four countries as well as interaregional trade and relations with the EU. However, for a number of reasons, the plans never came to fruition. It was not until the late 1980s that new impetus began to bring the parties together again. The first Maghreb Summit of the five Heads of State, held at Zeralda (Algeria) in June 1988, resulted in a decision to set up the Maghreb High Commission and various specialized commissions. Finally, on February 17, 1989 in Marrakech, the Treaty establishing the AMU was signed by the Heads of State of the five countries.


OFFICIAL AU WEBSITE: blue link to www.africa-union.org/

NEPAD in Brief

1. WHAT IS NEPAD?

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a VISION and STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR AFRICA's RENEWAL

2. WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF NEPAD?
 

The NEPAD strategic framework document arises from a mandate given to the five initiating Heads of State (Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa) by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to develop an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa. The 37th Summit of the OAU in July 2001 formally adopted the strategic framework document.

3. WHAT IS THE NEED FOR NEPAD?
 

NEPAD is designed to address the current challenges facing the African continent. Issues such as the escalating poverty levels, underdevelopment and the continued marginalisation of Africa needed a new radical intervention, spearheaded by African leaders, to develop a new Vision that would guarantee Africa's Renewal.

4. WHAT ARE THE NEPAD PRIMARY OBJECTIVES?
 

a) To eradicate poverty;
b) To place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development;
c) To halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy;
d) To accelerate the empowerment of women

5. WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF NEPAD?
 

o Good governance as a basic requirement for peace, security and sustainable political and socio-economic development
o African ownership and leadership, as well as broad and deep participation by all sectors of society;
o Anchoring the development of Africa on its resources and resourcefulness of its people;
o Partnership between and amongst African peoples;
o Acceleration of regional and continental integration;
o Building the competitiveness of African countries and the continent;
o Forging a new international partnership that changes the unequal relationship between Africa and the developed world; and
o Ensuring that all Partnerships with NEPAD are linked to the Millenium Development Goals and other agreed development goals and targets.

6. WHAT IS THE NEPAD PROGRAMME OF ACTION?

The NEPAD Programme of Action is a holistic, comprehensive and integrated sustainable development initiative for the revival of Africa, guided by the aforementioned objectives, principles and strategic focus.
 

7. WHAT ARE THE NEPAD PRIORITIES?

a. Establishing the Conditions for Sustainable Development by ensuring
o Peace and security;
o Democracy and good, political, economic and corporate governance;
o Regional co-operation and integration;
o Capacity building.
b. Policy reforms and increased investment in the following priority sectors-
o Agriculture;
o Human development with a focus on health, education, science and technology and skills development;
o Building and improving infrastructure, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Energy, Transport, Water and Sanitation;
o Promoting diversification of production and exports, particularly with respect to agro-industries, manufacturing, mining, mineral beneficiation and tourism;
o Accelerating intra-African trade and improving access to markets of developed countries;
o The environment.
c. Mobilising Resources by -
o Increasing domestic savings and investments;
o Improving management of public revenue and expenditure;
o Improving Africa's share in global trade;
o Attracting foreign direct investment; and
o Increasing capital flows through further debt reduction and increase ODA flows.

8. WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE DESIRED OUTCOMES OF NEPAD?
 

o Africa becomes more effective in conflict prevention and the establishment of enduring peace on the continent;
o Africa adopts and implements principles of democracy and good political economic and corporate governance, and the protection of human rights becomes further entrenched in every African country;
o Africa develops and implements effective poverty eradication programmes and accelerates the pace of achieving set African development goals, particularly human development;
o Africa achieves increased levels of domestic savings, as well as investments, both domestic and foreign;
o Increased levels of ODA to the continent are achieved and its effective utilisation maximised;
o Africa achieves desired capacity for policy development, coordination and negotiation in the international arena, to ensure its beneficial engagement in the global economy, especially on trade and market access issues
o Regional integration is further accelerated and higher levels of sustainable economic growth in Africa is achieved;
o Genuine partnerships are established between Africa and the developed countries based on mutual respect and accountability.

9. WHAT ARE THE KEY PRIORITY ACTION AREAS?

o Operationalising the African Peer Review Mechanism
o Facilitating and supporting implementation of the short-term regional infrastructure programmes covering Transport Energy, ICT, Water and Sanitation.
o Facilitating implementation of the food security and agricultural development program in all sub-regions
o Facilitating the preparation of a coordinated African position on Market Access, debt relief and ODA reforms
o Monitoring and intervening as appropriate to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals in the areas of health and education are met.
10. WHAT DOES THE STRUCTURE FOR IMPLEMENTING NEPAD LOOK LIKE
NEPAD is a programme of the African Union designed to meet its development objectives. The highest authority of the NEPAD implementation process is the Heads of State and Government Summit of the African Union, formerly known as the OAU.
The Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSIC) comprises 3 states per AU region as mandated by the OAU Summit of July 2001 and ratified by the AU Summit of July 2002. The HSIC reports to the AU Summit on an annual basis.
The Steering Committee of NEPAD comprises the Personal Representatives of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government. This Committee oversees projects and programme development.
The NEPAD Secretariat coordinates implementation of projects and programmes approved by the HSIC.
 

An Overview of NEPAD

Origin/Mandate
Description
Objective
Structure
Relationship Between NEPAD and the AU
Relationship with SADC
Other Linkages
Implementation of NEPAD
Relationship with the CSSDCA
The Way Forward
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Origin/Mandate

The mandate for the New African Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) had its genesis at the OAU Extraordinary Summit held in Sirte, Libya during September 1999. The Summit mandated President Mbeki of South Africa and President Bouteflika of Algeria to engage Africa's creditors on the total cancellation of Africa's external debt. Following this, the South Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77, held in Havana, Cuba during April 2000, mandated President Mbeki and President Obasanjo of Nigeria to convey the concerns of the South to the G-8 and the Bretton Woods institutions.

Realising the correlation between the two mandates and the fact that debt relief forms but one critical aspect of the overall development agenda for Africa, the OAU Summit held in Togo in July 2000 mandated the three Presidents to engage the developed North with a view to developing a constructive partnership for the regeneration of the Continent. Following from this, the three Presidents raised the issue of a partnership with the leaders of the G-8 at their Summit in Japan during July 2000. The work on developing NEPAD (at that stage referred to as the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP)) then began in earnest and a process of engagement on a bilateral and multilateral level was pursued.

During the 5th Extraordinary Summit of the OAU held in Sirte, Libya from 1 to 2 March 2001, President Obasanjo made a presentation on MAP, while President Wade of Senegal who presented the OMEGA Plan. The work being done by the four Presidents, i.e. Presidents Mbeki, Obasanjo, Bouteflika and Wade, was endorsed and it was decided that every effort should be made to integrate all the initiatives being pursued for the recovery and development of Africa, including the ECA's New Global Compact with Africa. In reaching this decision, the Summit recognised the synergy and complementarity that existed between the various initiatives.

An integration process of the various initiatives followed, and on 11 July 2001, NEPAD (or the New African Initiative (NAI) as it was temporarily known at the time), was presented to the OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, Zambia, providing the vision for Africa, a statement of the problems facing the continent and a Programme of Action to resolve these problems in order to reach the vision. NEPAD was enthusiastically received and unanimously adopted in the form of Declaration 1 (XXXVII) as Africa's principal agenda for development, providing a holistic, comprehensive integrated strategic framework for the socio-economic development of the continent, within the institutional framework of the African Union.

Description

This adoption of NEPAD is considered as one of the most important developments of recent times for its conception of a development programme placing Africa at the apex of the global agenda, by:

· Creating an instrument for advancing a people-centered sustainable development in Africa based on democratic values;
· Being premised on recognition that Africa has an abundance of natural resources and people who have the capacity to be agents for change and so holds the key to her own development; and
· Providing the common African platform from which to engage the rest of the international community in a dynamic partnership that holds real prospects for creating a better life for all.

Objective

The primary objective of NEPAD is to eradicate poverty in Africa and to place African countries both individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development to thus halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process. At the core of the NEPAD process is its African ownership, which must be retained and strongly promoted, so as to meet the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples. While the principle of partnership with the rest of the world is equally vital to this process, such partnership must be based on mutual respect, dignity, shared responsibility and mutual accountability. The expected outcomes are:

· Economic growth and development and increased employment;
· Reduction in poverty and inequality;
· Diversification of productive activities;
· Enhanced international competitiveness and increased exports; and
· Increased African integration.

Structure

NEPAD is structured into three components:

· The first component provides the preconditions for sustainable development, which are the Peace, Security, Democracy and Political Governance Initiatives; the Economic and Corporate Governance Initiative; and the sub-regional and regional approaches to development.
· The second component provides the sectoral priorities, which include bridging the infrastructure gap; the Human Resource Development Initiative; the Agriculture Initiative; the Environment Initiative; the Cultural Initiative and Science and Technology Platforms.
· The third component concerns the mobilisation of resources, referring to the Capital Flows Initiative and the Market Access Initiative.

Relationship between NEPAD and African Union

NEPAD is a mandated initiative of the African Union. The NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee has to report annually to the Union Summit. The Chair of the Union as well as the Chair of the Commission of the Union are ex-officio members of the Implementation Committee. The Commission of the Union is expected to participate in Steering Committee meetings.

Relationship with SADC

The linkage between NEPAD and the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) was adopted by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance at their meeting in Blantyre on 13 September 2001, which came to the conclusion that, in terms of relationships, SADC is part of and feeds into NEPAD since the latter is premised on the regional economic communities (RECs). The Ministers recognised that NEPAD is a framework and process within the Union, while SADC is a recognised REC of the Union. SADC participates, therefore, in both the Union and NEPAD. To this end, by strengthening the implementation capacity of SADC, it was recognised that success in NEPAD would be enhanced. It was decided that the development of the RISDP and the SADC restructuring process should take NEPAD into account, and where appropriate, SADC and NEPAD programmes should be harmonised. SADC should also take NEPAD into account in the ongoing review of SADC programmes.

Other Linkages

NEPAD has not been constructed and come into existence in a vacuum. Therefore, it is important that it be linked to existing initiatives and programmes for Africa. In providing the focal point and the overall strategic framework for engagement NEPAD does not seek to replace or compete with these initiatives and programmes, but rather to consciously establish linkages and synergies between NEPAD and existing initiatives. In this way, all activities focused on Africa can be pursued in an integrated and coordinated fashion within the framework of priorities and needs identified by Africans for themselves.
A major effort is also ongoing to continuously factor NEPAD imperatives into the outcomes of international conferences such as the Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to ensure the integration of NEPAD into the multilateral system. In a wider context, countries of the South subscribe to the priorities outlined in NEPAD and have generally welcomed it with words of solidarity and moral support, as well as an appreciation for South Africa's positive role in NEPAD.

Implementation of NEPAD

At the inaugural Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee meeting held in Abuja on 23 October 2001, the Heads of State and Government established a 15-member Task Force for the implementation of NEPAD. A three tier governing structure was accepted for NEPAD:

· Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee
Chaired by President Obasanjo, with Presidents Wade and Bouteflika as Vice-chairpersons, the Implementation Committee is comprised of fifteen states (three per OAU geographic region), including the five initiating states, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal and Egypt. The composition is as follows:
· North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia
· West Africa: Nigeria, Senegal, Mali
· Central Africa: Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe
· East Africa: Ethiopia, Mauritius and Rwanda
· Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique
The main function of the Implementation Committee is to set policies and priorities and the Programme of Action. The Implementation Committee is expected to meet three times per year. It reports annually to the African Union Summit.
· Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is composed of the personal representatives of the five initiating Presidents, and is tasked with the development of the Terms of Reference for identified programmes and projects, as well as overseeing the Secretariat.
· Secretariat
The full-time, small core staff of the Secretariat located at the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Midrand provides the liaison, coordination, and administrative and logistical function for NEPAD. It is also responsible for outsourcing of work on technical detail to lead agencies and/or continental experts.

Five task teams were established to urgently identify and prepare specific implementable projects and programmes. In terms of working arrangements, South Africa is to coordinate the Peace, Security, Democracy and Political Governance Initiative; Nigeria the Economic and Corporate Governance/Banking and Financial Standards/Capital Flows Initiatives; Egypt the Market Access and Agriculture Initiatives; Algeria the Human Resources Development Initiative; and Senegal the Infrastructure Initiative.

In addition, the Implementation Committee decided to develop a set of governance principles and to develop a mechanism for peer review. Lastly, the Steering Committee was mandated to develop a strategic plan for marketing and communications at the national, regional, continental and international levels.

The second meeting of the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee was held in Abuja on 26 March 2002. At this meeting the Implementation Committee underlined the centrality of the commitment to peace, and requested the Sub-Committee on Peace and Security to focus on the following priority areas:

· Enhance capacity to conduct thorough inclusive strategic assessments of situations in regions affected by conflicts;
· Support efforts at developing early warning systems at continental and regional levels, including the development of strategic analysis and database systems;
· Support post-conflict reconstruction and development in all affected countries, including rehabilitation of national infrastructure, the population as well as refugees and internally displaced persons, with a special focus on sustainable programmes of disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation;
· Support efforts to curb the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking in small arms and light weapons in Africa;
· Support efforts to promote democracy, good governance and respect for human rights through appropriate policy and institutional reforms; and
· Assist in resource mobilisation for the African Union Peace Fund.

Regarding the enhancement of capacity for conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa, the Heads of State and Government extended its full support to the ongoing efforts aimed at reviewing and enhancing the effectiveness of the African Union Central Organ (expected to be renamed the Peace and Security Council) including the review of its mandate, its membership, its methods of work and funding.

It also underscored the need for greater coordination of REC mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution; the African Union Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution and the UN Security Council. Furthermore, the Heads of State supported the process of the ongoing discussions and consultations on the establishment of the Council of the Wise to complement the efforts of the envisaged African Union Peace and Security Council.

On Political Governance and the African Peer Review Mechanism, the Committee considered and strongly supported the Draft Report on Good Governance and Democracy as well as an African Peer Review Mechanism. Essentially, the proposals adopted seek to ensure the implementation of objectives contained in such documents as the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Protocol on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Framework for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government.

The African Peer Review Mechanism will enhance African ownership of its development agenda, through a system of self-assessment that ensures that policies of African countries are based on best current knowledge and practices. An effective Mechanism, designed, owned and managed by Africans, must be credible, transparent and all-encompassing, so as to demonstrate that African leaders are fully aware of the responsibilities and obligations to their peoples, and are genuinely prepared to engage and relate to the rest of the world on the basis of integrity and mutual respect.

This would enable the Continent to make the necessary interventions in any situation considered to be at variance with the principles contained in these agreed documents. In essence this refers also to the fact that the Continent should not be punished for reverses it might suffer in one or another of the 54 countries in Africa. The Steering Committee was mandated to finalise the Report on Good Governance and Democracy for adoption at its next meeting.

The Implementation Committee also reviewed the issue of Economic and Corporate Governance in Africa, with a view to promoting sound macro-economic and public financial management and accountability among members, while protecting the integrity of their monetary and financial systems. This was consistent both with the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community, the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the founding document of NEPAD, which, among others, visualize the harmonisation of economic policies among the African countries. The Report on Good Economic and Corporate Governance states that: "Good economic governance would attempt to evolve well-defined structures; harmonious and complementary fiscal, monetary, and trade policies; coherent development strategies and programs; promotion of a dynamic domestic private sector and establishment of monitoring and regulatory authorities for promotion and coordination of different economic activities".

Eight Draft Codes and Standards for Economic and Corporate Governance for Africa and an African Peer Review Mechanism were approved, covering such areas as monetary, financial and fiscal policies; budget and debt management and transparency, corporate governance, auditing and bank supervision, while it was recommended that the technical aspects of the Peer Review Mechanism should be conducted by an independent, credible African institution, separate from the political process and structures.

The Implementation Committee supported the main thrust of the Draft Action Plans for the four priority sectors and directed the Steering Committee to finalise these and other Action Plans, for presentation at the next meeting of the Committee. The presentation to the next meeting of the Committee should also include Draft Action Plans on Capacity-Building, Poverty Alleviation, Gender Issues and Disaster Management.

Relationship between NEPAD and the CSSDCA

Although there is convergence and complimentarity between the objectives of the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA) and NEPAD in the context of the African Union, there are particular areas of overlap and possible duplication that need to be addressed. To this end the NEPAD Steering Committee, in cooperation with the OAU Secretariat, has been directed to submit proposals on the rationalisation of the two initiatives to the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee at its next meeting in Durban on 8 July 2002.

Initially it had been suggested that CSSDCA was a framework for the adoption of common values for the African Union as well as benchmarks against which successes could be measured, whilst NEPAD was an action programme for achieving the objectives of the African Union and the continent. As envisaged, one of the main characteristics of the CSSDCA initiative was its provision of a mechanism for monitoring and facilitating the implementation of African Union decisions.

The Way Forward

A detailed NEPAD Programme of Action will be presented to the next Summit of the G-8 in Kananaskis, Canada in June 2002 and to the inaugural Summit of the African Union in South Africa in July 2002. The European Community, the World Bank, the IMF and the UN will also participate in the Kananaskis meeting. It is expected that the decisions taken at G-8 meeting will help further to advance the Global Development Goals agreed at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, build on the recent Monterrey FfD Conference and open the door for the success of the WSSD.

The rationale for establishing the NEPAD management structures that have been agreed upon is to ensure capacity for implementation. To this end the issue of capacity building is critical to the successfully implementation of the NEPAD process, in particular the extent to which African countries develop commensurate capacity for undertaking strategic NEPAD projects. The issue of capacity building permeates through all of the priority areas, because it underpins the success of the whole.


 


 

Historical Overview

A: BACKGROUND:

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a holistic, integrated sustainable development initiative for the economic and social revival of Africa involving a constructive partnership between Africa and the developed world. It is a pledge by African leaders, based on a common vision and a firm and shared conviction that they have a pressing duty to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development and, at the same time, to participate actively in the world economy and body politic.

The initiative is anchored on the determination of Africans to extricate themselves and the continent from the malaise of underdevelopment and exclusion in a globalising world. It is a call for a new relationship of partnership between Africa and the international community to overcome the development chasm. The partnership is to be founded on a realisation of common interest, obligations, commitments, benefit and equality.

The initiative is premised on African states making commitments to good governance, democracy and human rights, while endeavouring to prevent and resolve situations of conflict and instability on the continent. Coupled to these efforts to create conditions conducive for investment, growth and development are initiatives to raise the necessary resources to address the development chasm in critical sectors that are highlighted in the Programme of Action, such as infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and ICT. Resources will be mobilised by way of increasing savings and capital inflows via further debt relief, increased targeted ODA flows and private capital. There will be an emphasis on the better management of public revenue and expenditure. The founding document of the NEPAD contains both a strategic policy framework and a Programme of Action.

The NEPAD offers a historic opportunity for the advanced countries of the world to enter into a genuine partnership with Africa, based on mutual interests and benefit, shared commitment and binding agreement, under African leadership. In proposing the partnership, Africa recognises that it holds the key to its own development. The adoption of a development strategy, together with a detailed programme of action marks the beginning of a new phase in the partnership and cooperation between Africa and the developed world, including multilateral organisations.

B: RATIONALE FOR THE NEPAD:

The idea of developing a new Agenda for African Recovery dates back to 1999. President T Mbeki, President O Obasanjo and President A Bouteflika, as leaders of three major organisations representing the interests of Africa and the South, found themselves in a unique position to put Africa's case to the global community.

They realised that Africa has been reacting for too long to ideas and offers of support from the rest of the world, without developing and articulating its own vision and programme of action. Africa has produced a variety of initiatives and programmes of action in the past, in particular the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community. However, for a variety of reasons, including timing, a lack of capacity and resources, a lack of political will and the interference of outside interests in the Cold War era, the plans failed in their implementation.

A convergence of favourable circumstances within the continent and internationally provides the ideal opportunity now to take the existing plans, eg for economic integration, forward within the context of a new initiative developed by Africans for Africans. Faced with the challenge of addressing poverty and underdevelopment, both in their respective countries and on the continent, and with demands to address world forums on African issues, the Presidents resolved to request the OAU to mandate them to prepare a comprehensive development programme that could serve as a foundation for the regeneration of the continent and the forging of a new partnership with the rest of the world, more specifically the industrialised countries and multilateral organisations.

This would be a programme that went beyond debt reduction, which was the immediate trigger for the initiative. The end result is the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

C. PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE FINAL INITIATIVE:

The mandate for the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) had its genesis at the OAU Extraordinary Summit held in Sirte, Libya during September 1999. The Summit mandated President T Mbeki of South Africa and President A Bouteflika of Algeria to engage Africa's creditors on the total cancellation of Africa's external debt. Following this, the South Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement and the G77, held in Havana, Cuba during April 2000, mandated President Mbeki and President O Obasanjo to convey the concerns of the South to the G8 and the Bretton Woods institutions.

Realising the correlation between the two mandates and the fact that debt relief forms but one critical aspect of the overall development agenda for Africa, the OAU Summit held in Togo in July 2000 mandated the three Presidents to engage the developed North with a view to developing a constructive partnership for the regeneration of the Continent. Following from this, the three Presidents raised the issue of a partnership with the leaders of the G8 at their Summit in Japan during July 2000. The work on developing the MAP then began in earnest and a process of engagement on a bilateral and multilateral level was pursued. For example, a presentation on MAP was made to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2001.

The first concept paper was prepared by President Mbeki and was approved by the other two Presidents in September 2000. A Steering Committee was appointed to develop a more detailed proposal immediately thereafter. Each President appointed two members to the Steering Committee in October 2000. After a number of consultations with the three Presidents regarding an evaluation of past and current development agendas for Africa, the Steering Committee produced a Policy Framework document, Draft 3 (a), in February 2001.

Draft 3 (a) was both a vision statement and an outline of a Programme of Action for the political, social and economic recovery of the African continent. It argued the case for the initiative, its timing and its strategic focus, as well as outlining actions, duties and responsibilities for African leaders on the one hand and for industrialised countries on the other. The next four months were then devoted to the preparation of a detailed Programme of Action.
The OMEGA Plan was conceived by President A Wade and was first presented at the Franco-Africa Summit in Yaounde, Cameroon in January 2001. It was then also presented at the OAU Extraordinary Summit in Sirte in March 2001. The three original MAP Presidents became aware of the Omega Plan for the first time at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 30 January 2001. The OMEGA Plan is premised on four central pillars, dealing with the building of infrastructures, including the new technologies of information and communication (ICT), education and human resource development, health and agriculture.

At the 8th Session of the African Ministers of Finance in Addis Ababa in November 2000, the Executive Secretary of the ECA, Mr KY Amoako, was tasked with developing a Compact for Africa's Renewal. The document that he produced was then presented and discussed at the Conference of African Ministers of Finance in Algiers, Algeria from 8 to 10 May 2001. The ECA New Global Compact with Africa discusses operationalising the MAP and is comprised of six Chapters.

During the 5th Extraordinary Summit of the OAU held in Sirte, Libya from 1 to 2 March 2001, President Obasanjo made a presentation on the MAP and President Wade of Senegal presented the OMEGA Plan. The work being done by the four Presidents, ie Presidents Mbeki, Obasanjo, Bouteflika and Wade, was endorsed and it was decided that every effort should be made to integrate all the initiatives being pursued for the recovery and development of Africa. In reaching this decision, the Summit recognised the synergy and complementarity that existed between the various initiatives. In the final analysis, Africa has to present a single, coordinated plan to its international cooperating partners. To have more than one initiative will be confusing to Africa's partners, will undermine credibility and will inevitably lead to a splitting of scarce resources, focus and capacity.

The Conference in Algiers of 8-10 May 2001 discussed above represented the first step in carrying forward the mandate for integration given by the Extraordinary Summit in Sirte in March 2001. Apart from the ECA Compact, the MAP and the OMEGA Plan were also discussed and the Ministers urged the experts of the three initiatives to work together to achieve the merger and consolidation.

Following this, a meeting of experts from nine African states, as well as the MAP Steering Committee, was held in Abuja, Nigeria from 2 to 4 June 2001. Immediately following the Extraordinary Summit in Sirte, Senegal and Egypt were included on the Steering Committee, along with South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria. At the Abuja meeting, Gabon, Mali, Tanzania and Mozambique were also invited to attend. The Abuja meeting discussed the issue of merger in general, while the majority of the meeting was utilised to further develop the MAP Programme of Action. Input papers were provided by a number of states under each of the 8 Themes and these were extensively workshopped to arrive at a consolidated background paper per Theme. A Theme on Environment was also added.

An integration team was assembled at the Development Bank of Southern Africa following the Abuja meeting. The task of this team was to produce a comprehensive, coherent plan from the papers and positions developed at the Abuja Workshop, which they did.
Furthermore, a meeting was held in Dakar, Senegal from 11-13 June where the final details of the OMEGA Plan were discussed. A broad spectrum of the Senegalese public and private sectors was represented at the meeting, as well as a number of countries, including South Africa, and multilateral organisations. President Bouteflika sent a Special Envoy to the meeting, his Minister for African Affairs, to further develop the process of merging the various initiatives.

Following this, the MAP Steering Committee held a meeting in Cairo, Egypt from 18 to 21 June. Apart from the five core Steering Committee states, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Libya also attended the meeting. The aim of the Cairo meeting was to finalise the MAP Programme of Action documents and also to discuss the merger of the MAP and the OMEGA Plan into one consolidated initiative. Most of the discussion at the meeting centred on the MAP Theme documents.

Good progress was made in finalising these Programme of Action documents. The meeting agreed that there must be a two-page summary of each of the MAP Programme of Action Theme papers. The Programme of Action is designed to give effect to the strategic framework outlined in the MAP Draft 3 (a) document. The question of the MAP/OMEGA integration was discussed on the last day, and Senegal repeated their assertion that they were fully in favour of the merger of the two documents. A framework and process for the integration was agreed upon to guide the drafting and integration team, dealing with the work at the conceptual, sectoral and structural levels.

The integration process continued again after the Cairo meeting and culminated in the production of the MAP Final Draft 3 (b) on 29 June. The executive summaries arising from Cairo were utilised to produce this document, consisting of a framework and the key priorities and programmes. Finally, a meeting of the five core MAP Steering Committee countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal and Egypt) was held in Pretoria, South Africa on 2 and 3 July 2001. The OAU and the ECA were also invited and the ECA Executive Secretary himself attended. MAP Final Draft 3 (b) was presented to the meeting. Following much vigorous debate, the meeting was successful in finalising a common, coordinated and integrated document for presentation to the OAU Summit in Lusaka, Zambia (9-11 July).

The document, entitled A New African Initiative: Merger of the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme and the Omega Plan (NAI) was unanimously approved by the members of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee formally presented the consolidated initiative to the five initiating Presidents and their representatives in Lusaka on 9 July 2001. The presentation was preceded by a consultative meeting between President Mbeki and President Wade in Pretoria on 7 July and a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the five Steering Committee states was held in Lusaka on 8 July to discuss the finalised common initiative and the procedure for introducing the document to the Summit.

On 11 July 2001, the NAI was presented to the OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, Zambia. It was enthusiastically received and was unanimously adopted by the Summit in the form of Declaration 1 (XXXVII) of the Summit. In the post-Lusaka period, an extensive programme to lobby support for the initiative has been undertaken. This began with the UN ECOSOC Ministerial meeting on 16 July in Geneva, the G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy on 20 July, and the SADC Summit in August in Blantyre, Malawi. It was also a crosscutting agenda item during the World Conference Against Racism in September in Durban, South Africa.
Engagement with key continental and international cooperating partners will be ongoing, in particular with the AU, the REC's, the G8, the EU, the UNO, and the Bretton Woods institutions. Synergies and linkages will be consciously established with all existing processes and initiatives on the continent, eg the TICAD and Sino-Africa initiatives.

Finally, the first meeting of the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee, as mandated at the OAU Summit in Lusaka to drive the process forward, met in Abuja, Nigeria on 23 October 2001. The Committee, comprising Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Botswana, Tunisia, Mali, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon and Cameroon, finalised a name for the initiative, namely the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the definitive text.

NEPAD replaces NAI, which was merely intended to be a working title for the purposes of the OAU Summit. Furthermore, the Committee finalised the management structures for NEPAD, consisting of the Implementation Committee, which will meet three times a year and must report annually to the AU Summit, a Steering Committee, comprising personal representatives of the five initiating Presidents and a Secretariat, to be based in South Africa. The Committee also identified a list of five priorities that are to be pursued in the short term to their next meeting. This meeting marks the start of the critical implementation phase of the initiative.


 


 

OFFICIAL NEPAD  DOCUMENTATION: link to www.dfa.gov.za/au.nepad/nepad.pdf

AFRICAN PEER REVIEW MECHANISM (APRM); link towww.dfa.gov.za/au.nepad/nepad49.pdf


OFFICIAL NEPAD website:blue  link to www.nepad.org

regards,
Wael Nosseir

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 

 

   
 

 

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