Specialised Agencies & Institutions
EDUCATION, HUMAN RESOURCES, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BODIES
- PAN AFRICAN UNIVERSITY (PAU)
The Pan African University (PAU) is designed to revitalise higher education and research in Africa by nurturing quality and exemplifying excellence. It focuses on technology, innovation, humanities, social sciences, governance and regional integration.
The PAU consists of a network of institutes and research centres hosted within existing universities. It has the following thematic hubs located across the five geographic regions of Africa:
- Water and energy sciences, including climate change (North Africa, with the Abou Bëkr Belkaïd University of Tlemcen, Algeria)
- Basic sciences, technology and innovation (East Africa, with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya)
- Life and earth sciences, including health and agriculture (West Africa, with the University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
- Governance, humanities and social sciences (Central Africa, with the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon)
- Space sciences (Southern Africa, with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa).
- PAN AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT (IPED)/AFRICAN OBSERVATORY FOR EDUCATION
IPED is envisaged as a specialised institution of the AU charged with the responsibility to function as Africa’s Education Observatory. Its role is to promote quality, responsive and inclusive education development in Africa by ensuring a robust and functional Education Management Information System (EMIS) and sound knowledge-based planning. This is achieved by working directly with AU Member States to strengthen their national EMIS by building capacities to collect, analyse and report on the data.
- INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR GIRLS’ AND WOMEN’S EDUCATION IN AFRICA (CIEFFA)
CIEFFA was established to coordinate the promotion of education for women and girls. It works with AU Member States, civil society and international partners to implement programmes and activities in collaboration with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
CIEFFA focuses on four key policy advocacy priorities:
- the legal framework for rights of girls and women in schools and universities
- gender-responsive curricula in schools and universities
- retention of girls in schools;
- documentation, advocacy, communication and publications.
CIEFFA was established at the 30th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1999 and became a specialised agency of the AU following AU Assembly approval in principle in July 2004 (Assembly/AU/Dec.44(III)). It became a UNESCO Category 2 Centre in April 2006.
- SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND RESEARCH COMMISSION (STRC)
The mandate of the STRC is to implement the AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) in coordination with relevant stakeholders; promote intra-African research activities; identify new and comparative priority areas for research; and to popularise the scientific and technological research culture in Africa.
The STRC’s programmes and activities include: STISA 2024 implementation; Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation establishment;1 capacity building of scientists and technologists; science, technology and innovation (STI) for youth empowerment and wealth creation; STI for climate change; green innovation strategy development and implementation; African pharmacopeia series; AU network of sciences platform; gender and women in science programme; and the inclusive and social innovation for economic prosperity programme.
- AFRICAN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND INNOVATION COUNCIL (ASRIC)
The ASRIC’s mandate will be to promote scientific research and innovation and to address the challenges of Africa’s socio-economic development.
- AFRICAN OBSERVATORY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION (AOSTI)
AOSTI goal is to stimulate and promote the use of science and technology in supporting sustainable development in Africa. AOSTI is mandated to serve as the repository for science, technology and innovation (STI) data and to champion evidence-based STI policy making in Africa. AOSTI’s role also includes: monitoring and evaluating the AU’s STI policy implementation; supporting Member States to manage and use STI statistical information in accordance with the African Charter on Statistics; assisting Member States to map their STI capabilities to address economic, social, environmental and other development challenges; strengthening national capacities for STI policy formulation, evaluation and review, as well as technology foresight and prospecting; providing Member State decision-makers with up-to-date information on global scientific and technological trends; and promoting and strengthening regional and international cooperation in its areas of competence.
- FUND FOR AFRICAN WOMEN
The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA), adopted by AU Heads of State and Government in July 2004, called for a fund with the objective of financing capacity building for African women. In 2007, the AU Assembly proposed establishing an African trust fund for women (Assembly/AU//Dec.143(VIII)). The Fund was launched at the January 2010 Assembly Summit. It was reviewed and redesigned in 2017.
The Fund for African Women supports small and community-based women’s organisations in Africa. Its five main goals are to:
- Mobilise financial resources to support development programmes and projects for women
- Support women’s initiatives to fight poverty, close the gender gap and halt marginalisation of women
- Share experiences and best practices on economic, political and social empowerment of women
- Facilitate the dissemination of information on activities led by African women
- Strengthen the capacities of African women in leadership, management and entrepreneurship.
The Fund is administered by the AUC’s Directorate of Women, Gender and Development (WGDD). A steering committee assists with implementation of themes, calls for proposals and recommends projects for selection. The Committee members are selected in accordance with the 2008 Lilongwe Declaration. A committee composed of Ministers of Gender and Women's Affairs from each AU region as well as independent experts approves projects to be funded.
Themes selected and implemented by the WGDD for the period 2011–18 are:
- Maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and women’s health (2011)
- Agriculture, food security and environment (2012)
- Fighting poverty and promoting economic empowerment of women and entrepreneurship (2013)
- Climate change and environment (2014)
- Education, science and technology (2015)
- Finance and gender budgets (2016)
- Mentoring youth (men and women) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment (2017)
- Peace and security and violence against women (2018).
- AU INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS (STATAFRIC)
STATAFRIC aims to lead in the provision and promotion of quality statistics, statistical information and good practice in support of the African Integration Agenda and becoming the centre of reference for quality statistics on Africa. Its values include professional independence, as defined in article 3 of the African Charter on Statistics.
STATAFRIC key functions are to:
- Provide the statistical information needed to design, implement, monitor and evaluate African policies
- Develop and promote standards, methods and procedures that allow the cost-effective production and dissemination of comparable and reliable statistics throughout the AU and beyond
- Steer the African Statistics System, develop standards and procedures, strengthen cooperation among partners, build capacity and ensure it takes a leading role in official statistics worldwide.
- PAN AFRICAN TRAINING CENTRE ON STATISTICS
Creation of an African statistical training centre was endorsed by the AU Assembly in July 2012 (Assembly/AU/Dec.424(XIX)). The purpose of the Training Centre will be to strengthen the capability of AU Member States’ official statisticians to collect, analyse and disseminate timely and high-quality statistics for economic and social development planning. The Centre, to be based in Côte d’Ivoire, has the vision of being the centre of reference for statistical training in Africa.The Centre’s mandate, mission and role will be based on coordination and harmonisation of statistical training in Africa, including to be an accrediting body for schools and training centres in collaboration with the Association of African Statisticians. The Centre will undertake regular evaluations of training centres and schools in order to adapt training programmes to the needs and requirements of the labour market.
ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE BODIES
- AFRICAN CIVIL AVIATION COMMISSION (AFCAC)
The purpose of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) includes coordinating civil aviation matters in Africa and cooperating with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and all other relevant bodies involved in the promotion and development of civil aviation in Africa. AFCAC provides Member States’ civil aviation authorities with a framework for cooperation on civil aviation issues, and it promotes coordination, better use and orderly development of African air transport systems. AFCAC’s vision is to “foster a safe, secure, efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly civil aviation industry in Africa”.
- AFRICAN AIRLINES ASSOCIATION (AFRAA)
AFRAA is a trade organisation with membership open to African states’ airlines. The objectives of AFRAA include to: facilitate the establishment of industry best practices in safety and security; manage and analyse aviation sector data; provide a platform for consensus building among member carriers; facilitate joint projects;
support human capital development; interact with regulatory bodies; provide a knowledge- exchange forum; facilitate the development of environmental policies in keeping with industry best practices; and reflect a positive image of African airlines worldwide.
- AFRICAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION (ATU)
The role of the ATU is to promote the rapid development of information communications technology (ICT) in Africa in order to achieve universal service and access to broadband.
- PAN AFRICAN POSTAL UNION (PAPU)
PAPU is a specialised agency of the AU charged with spearheading the development of postal services in Africa. PAPU’s core objectives include: enabling the postal sector to become an essential component of the digital economy; sensitising African leaders to prioritise the postal section in national development plans; supporting the development of a regional ‘universal service model’; and strengthening Africa’s voice in global postal dialogues.
- AFRICAN ENERGY COMMISSION (AFREC)
AFREC is an AUC technical agency. It is responsible for supporting the African energy sector’s functions of developing and managing energy resources across Africa. AFREC’s mandate is to promote cooperation, research and development on energy issues as well as supporting integration, harmonisation and resource mobilisation for energy programmes
- AFRICAN COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR ENERGY (AFCONE)
AFCONE was established in line with article 12 of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba, 1996), as a mechanism to ensure State Parties’ compliance with their treaty obligations. The Treaty entered into force in July 2009. AFCONE also works to promote and enhance the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology for socio-economic development, and to foster regional and international cooperation in peaceful applications as well as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty prohibits the research, development, manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition, testing, possession, control or stationing of nuclear weapons, as well as the dumping of radioactive waste. As of June 2017, 41 Member States had ratified the Treaty
- AFRICAN MINERALS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (AMDC)
The main objectives of AMDC will be to support AU Member States and their national and regional organisations to promote the transformative role of mineral resources in the development of the continent, and to ensure that Africa’s interests and concerns in the sector are articulated and internalised throughout the continent for the benefit and prosperity of all. In addition, AMDC will support the AUC Department of Trade and Industry in coordinating the domestication and implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV).
RURAL ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE BODIES
- AFRICAN UNION–INTER-AFRICAN BUREAU FOR ANIMAL RESOURCES (AU–IBAR)
The mandate of the AU–Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU–IBAR) is to support and coordinate the sustainable development and use of animal resources (livestock, fisheries and wildlife) to enhance nutrition and food security and contribute to the wellbeing and prosperity of people in AU Member States. AU–IBAR also supports, amongst other things, the formulation, consensus building and promotion of Common African Positions within the global animal resources arena.
- INTER-AFRICAN PHYTOSANITARY COUNCIL (IAPSC)
IAPSC is a resource and information centre for phytosanitary and plant protection activities in Africa aimed at improving human livelihoods, food and feed security and rural economies. The Council’s role is to coordinate the exchange of information amongst African countries about plant health and to ensure an effective control system to combat organisms harmful to plants and plant products.
- SEMI-ARID FOOD GRAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (SAFGRAD)
SAFGRAD’s role is to lead activities on resilience of rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa. Its vision is to accelerate growth of agriculture by promoting productive-friendly technologies and by building institutional capacity. It focuses on agricultural research, technology transfer, enhancement of value chains, management of natural resources, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, combating desertification, policy development and information dissemination to rural communities
- PAN AFRICAN VETERINARY VACCINE CENTRE (PANVAC)
PANVAC’s role is to coordinate AU Member States’ efforts in controlling and eradicating animal diseases. PANVAC’s works is to promote the availability of safe, effective and affordable veterinary vaccines and diagnostic reagents; facilitate the development and introduction of improved or new vaccines; and strengthen Africa’s capacity in building veterinary vaccine development, production and quality assurance.
- PAN AFRICAN TSETSE AND TRYPANOSOMIASIS ERADICATION CAMPAIGN (PATTEC)
PATTEC’s role is to initiate and coordinate tsetse and trypanosomiasis (T&T) eradication campaign activities. This includes creating T&T free areas in affected countries and ensuring those areas are managed sustainably, equitably and economically
- FOUTA DJALLON HIGHLANDS PROGRAMME AU COORDINATION OFFICE
The Regional Programme for the Integrated Development of the Fouta Djallon Highlands (RPID-FDH) works with stakeholders and AU Member States, to raise awareness of and protect the natural resources and environment in the Fouta Highlands in Guinea. RPID-FDH also aims to improve the livelihoods of African people through sustainable management of natural resources. As of September 2017, it was planned to transfer the Programme to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- AFRICAN RISK CAPACITY (ARC)
ARC is a specialised agency of the AU that provides extreme weather insurance to help Member States resist and recover from natural disasters. It uses advanced satellite weather surveillance and software to estimate and trigger readily available funds linked to peer- reviewed contingency plans, to assist African countries hit by severe drought and related hazards. In 2013, the ARC established a financial affiliate, the ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd), as a specialist hybrid mutual insurance company. The ARC Insurance Company is a sovereign-level mutual insurance company that provides coverage to governments. At the request of African Ministers of Finance, the agency is also developing an insurance product for outbreaks and epidemics, as well as the Extreme Climate Facility (XCF) for climate adaptation finance
- COMMITTEE OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY SERVICES OF AFRICA (CISSA)
CISSA is a continent-wide forum for multilateral cooperation on intelligence and security matters. Its main purpose is to assist the AU and its institutions to effectively address security challenges confronting Africa. CISSA was conceived as a mechanism to facilitate dialogue, analysis, knowledge sharing, coordination and adoption of common strategies among intelligence and security organisations in Africa. Fifty-one African states are members.
- AFRICAN CENTRE FOR THE STUDY AND RESEARCH ON TERRORISM (ACSRT)
ACSRT is mandated to build the capacity of the AU and its Member States to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism, with the ultimate aim of eliminating the threats they pose in order to achieve peace, security, stability and development in Africa. The Centre is also known by its French name Centre Africain d’Etudes et de Recherche sur le Terrorisme (CAERT). The role of the Centre includes conducting research and study on terrorism and related matters; developing strategic counter-terrorism policy options and operational plans in accordance with international and African legal instruments; conducting training as part of its counter-terrorism capacity-building mandate; maintaining a database of terrorist groups in Africa, their activities and a list of resource persons with counter-terrorism expertise on the continent; disseminating research and study findings, analysis, development and other information on terrorism in Africa; incorporating into its approach the concept of preventive management of crises by ensuring the timely provision of trend analysis and early warning; establishing a system of focal points for AU Member States, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and international partners.
- AFRICAN UNION MECHANISM FOR POLICE COOPERATION (AFRIPOL)
The African Mechanism for Police Cooperation was originally initiated by African police directors and inspectors general in 2014 as an independent mechanism under the aegis of the AU for police cooperation. In 2017, it was established as a technical institution of the AU, with the name updated to the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation and retaining the same AFRIPOL acronym.
SOCIAL AFFAIRS BODIES
- AFRICA CENTRES FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (AFRICA CDC)
Africa CDC is works towards a safer, healthier, integrated and prosperous Africa in which Member States can efficiently prevent disease transmission, implement surveillance and detection, and be prepared to respond effectively to health threats and disease outbreaks. The Africa CDC’s objectives are to:
- Establish early warning and response systems to address health threats including infectious and chronic diseases, and during natural disasters
- Strengthen health security in Africa by helping Member States achieve compliance with the International Health Regulations
- Map hazards and assess disease and other health threats for Member States
- Support Member States in responding to disease outbreaks and other health emergencies
- Promote health and prevent disease by strengthening health systems for infectious diseases, chronic diseases and environmental health matters
- Promote partnership and collaboration among Member States to address emerging and endemic diseases and public health emergencies
- Harmonise disease control and prevention policies, and surveillance systems in Member States
- Build public health capacity in Africa by training epidemiologists, laboratorians and public health workers through medium- and long-term courses.
- CENTRE FOR LINGUISTIC AND HISTORICAL STUDIES BY ORAL TRADITION (CELHTO)
CELHTO seeks to contribute to Africa’s integration and development by providing analysis on African history, societies and culture to the AU system. Its main mandate is to work for recovery of the continent’s autonomy from external cultural visions, affirming a cultural identity that enables integration and development. The Centre aims to undertake linguistic, historical and sociological studies of African communities; produce and preserve written, audio, photographic and audio-visual records of oral traditions; and ensure popular approaches to the economic, political and socio-cultural integration of Africa.
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- AFRICAN ACADEMY OF LANGUAGES (ACALAN)
ACALAN’s role is to foster the integration and development of Africa through the promotion and development of African languages. Its overall objectives are to:
- Promote and develop the use of African languages in general and vehicular cross-border languages in particular, in partnership with the former colonial languages
- Promote a convivial, functional multilingualism at every level, especially in the education sector
- Ensure the development of African languages as factors of integration and development.
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- AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR REMITTANCES (AIR)
AIR is an AUC and Member State initiative in collaboration with the World Bank, European Commission, African Development Bank and the International Organization for Migration. The Institute’s main objectives are: promoting reforms to remittance regulatory frameworks of Member States aimed at reducing remittance transfer costs; improving Member States’ capacity for statistical measurement, compilation and reporting of remittance data; and assisting Member States to design strategic tools to leverage remittances for social and economic development. As of September 2017, AIR was providing technical assistance to seven AU Member States:- DR Congo, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The Institute is also engaging with the African Diaspora in Europe on efforts to reduce the cost of remittances as well suport development in their countries of origin.
- AFRICAN UNION SPORTS COUNCIL (AUSC)
The role of AUSC will be to foster sport for development and peace, including responsibility for the African Games, which have been owned by the AU since 2012. The Council is composed of AU Member States, AU sport development regions, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC) and other continental sports bodies
- AFRICAN AUDIOVISUAL AND CINEMA COMMISSION (AACC)
The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) is a specialised agency of the AU responsible for the promotion of rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry
- AFRICAN CAPACITY BUILDING FOUNDATION (ACBF)
ACBF is a pan-African institution that was established in 1991 by African countries and their bilateral and multilateral partners – including the African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank – to build human and institutional capacity for Africa’s sustainable development. The ACBF, with the support of partners, has invested close to $700 million since 1991 in capacity development programmes in 45 African countries as well as the AUC and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), specifically in the areas of public policy formulation and implementation, financial management and accountability, regional integration and empowerment of non-state actors.
- PAN AFRICAN WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION (PAWO)
The AU Assembly decided in January 2017 to grant the status of specialised agency to the Pan African Women’s Organization (PAWO), which was formed in 1962. Pan African Women’s Day (PAWD) in July 2017 was celebrated under the theme ‘Pan African Women’s Organization as a Specialised AU Agency: Vision and Mission’, including the objective of launching the process of operationalising the decision for PAWO to become an AU specialised agency.