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AUC Chairperson

The African Union is committed to Strengthening a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda.

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Priorities of the Commission

Despite the progress made in recent times, the African Continent is hamstrung by a number of complex challenges that are acting as a break on a continent which is poised for takeoff. These challenges span the economic, political, social and technological spheres. To urgently addressed this, the African Union Commission identified priorities that can be grouped into eight clusters.

Promote peace and stability, including regional initiatives, good governance, democracy and human right as a foundation for inclusion, security and the development of the continent and its people.

Expand Agricultural production, developing the Agro-processing and businesses sectors, increase market access and attain Africa’s collective Food self-sufficiency and nutrition through promotion of smallholder agriculture, sound environment and climate change and natural resource management.

Promote inclusive economic development and industrialization through the acceleration of infrastructure development projects that will aid economic integration and utilization of the continent’s mineral and other natural resources.

Build Africa’s human capacity through the prioritization of Primary Health Care and Prevention; Education, skills development and investment in science, research and innovation, access to clean water and sanitation with inclusion of the vulnerable groups.

Mainstream the participation of women and the youth in all priorities and activities of the Union and the continent.

Implement strategies of resource mobilization, with special emphasis on alternative source of funding, and/or additional funding to enable Africa to finance its programmes and development.

Strengthen a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda.

Strengthen the institutional capacity of the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities and other organs, and its relations with strategic and other partners.

The Chairperson of the Commission is the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Accounting Officer (Commission Statutes, article 7). The Chairperson is directly responsible to the Executive Council for the discharge of her duties. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa (elected by the AU Assembly in July 2012 for a four-year term). Article 8 of the Commission Statutes outlines the Chairperson’s functions...
Biography of H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma is an undisputable trailblazer in the upliftment and empowerment of women across the African continent. Her career as a struggle activist and politician is testimony to her indestructible and courageous spirit. She was born on 27 January 1949 in KwaZulu-Natal, a time when black women’s career expectations did not go beyond domestic work. She, however, was not to be limited.
Bureau of the Chairperson
Headed and managed by the Chief of Staff, the Bureau supports the Chairperson in the execution of her responsibilities. Key functions include: ensuring coordination and liaison among directorates and departments directly and indirectly under the Chairperson’s supervision; providing advisory services to the Chairperson; and managing tasks, correspondence and statements by the Chairperson. In addition to the Cabinet and advisers, the Bureau is composed of office, unit, directorate, committee and division heads.
Chief of Staff: Jennifer Susan Chiriga, Zimbabwe
AU Handbook
This Handbook is published by the African Union (AU) Commission in partnership with the New Zealand Government, publisher of the annual United Nations Handbook for more than 50 years. Modelled on the United Nations Handbook, it is intended as a ready reference guide for people working in all parts of the AU system
AU Commission leadership
Special Envoys of the Chairperson
Contact the Bureau of the Chairperson
Tel. +251-115-51-77-00, Ext. 2804
Direct. +251-115-18-28-04
Human Rights Strategy for Africa
The Human Rights Strategy for Africa is a guiding framework for collective action by AU, RECs and member states aimed at Strengthening the African human rights system. The Strategy seeks to address the current challenges of the African human rights system in order to ensure effective promotion and protection of human rights on the continent.
Human and People's Rights Strategy for Africa: Action Plan 2012-2016
The African human rights system is strengthened in order to deepen the culture of democracy and human rights in conformity with the objectives of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and other relevant instruments.
Enhanced coordination and coherence among AU organs, RECs and member states on human rights.
Strengthened capacity of institutions at continental, regional and national levels for an effective human rights system.
Ratification of human rights instruments is accelerated.
Effective implementation of human rights instruments and decisions.
Increased promotion and popularisation of African human rights norms.
African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM)
Electoral observation and monitoring has become an integral part of the democratic and electoral processes in Africa. International, regional and national observers have come to play important roles in enhancing the transparency and credibility of elections and democratic governance in Africa and the acceptance of election results throughout the continent. Electoral observation and monitoring missions can also play key roles in diminishing conflicts before, during and after elections. In as much as the mandate of AUEOMs could differ from country to country, the continental body has a broad mandate to assess the quality and credibility of elections on the Continent through observation, monitoring, mediation, the provision of technical assistance, supervision and the conducting of post-election audits.
Shared Values
Shared Values give us a lens through which to operate, making clear that certain principles apply to Member State dealings with its own citizens within its own borders. A focus on Shared Values can also be a useful aid in how Member States interact across borders.
The African Governance Architecture (AGA)
AGA is the overall political and institutional framework for the promotion of good governance in Africa by enhancing interaction and synergies between African Union organs/institutions with a formal mandate in governance and strengthen and their capacity to produce “Shared" agendas of Governance.
Leadership of the Department of Political Affairs
Commissioner for Political Affairs H.E Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria (elected in July 2012)
Contact: Tel: +251115182653 | Email:
Director - Mr. Khabele Matlosa, Lesotho
Contact: Tel: +251115182653|Email: