Africa’s Human Capacity

Policies and Programmes to enhance access to health, education and _employable skills underpinned by investment in services, science, research and innovation implemented by Member States

As shown in the preceding analysis human capital development remains a key challenge for Africa. This is _manifested in the continent's high disease burden due largely to the scourge of a plethora of communicable _and infectious diseases. HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and a host of other infectious disease continue _to take their toll despite the progress registered, resulting in poor performance on reaching targets of the _MDGs and the low regional score of Africa on the UNDP Human Development Index.

Although notable progress has been made in Primary School enrolments, the performance of Africa with _respect to secondary and tertiary education has been below average, and the continent lags significantly _behind in science, technology and innovation, key drivers of the knowledge-based economy and global _competitiveness.

Building on the progress achieved with the MDGs, the AUC will seek to strengthen human capital in Africa by _deliberately focusing on areas that will boost the realization of its Vision. In particular, the AUC will _facilitate the development of strategies that will improve human capacity on the continent and engage _Member States through dialogue emphasizing the importance of investing in health systems; education, _vocational training, Science, Research and Innovation, as well as Social security and protection of vulnerable _groups. In particular, the Commission will ensure that strategies to be implemented aim at improving skills _for competitiveness and ensuring that training better matches the opportunities and requirements of the _labour market.

To address the deficit with respect to human capital, the Commission will work to implement key policies _and programmes on Primary Health Care and Prevention. Maternal and infant mortality remains _unacceptably high in Africa. The Commission will mobilize a broad constituency in its endeavour to reduce, _if not eliminate maternal mortality. Emphasis will be placed on accelerating implementation of the Africa _Health Strategy, the Abuja “Call” and the promotion and Result Delivery & Accountability on Universal _Access to HIV/AIDS, TB, MNCH & Malaria services. Support will also be provided to enhance the training _and capacity building in medical and health sciences. An important emphasis will be placed on advocacy _towards Member States to increase national budget allocations to health, and to address the rising tide of _chronic non-communicable diseases linked to urbanization and lifestyle changes.

The Commission will place renewed efforts to fast-track and scale-up implementation of the Africa Second _Decade of Education, as well as the Youth Decade Plan of Action and the Mechanisms for enforcement _and accountability of the African Youth Charter through the activities of national Human Rights Institutions, the _APRM and the African Governance Initiative. Intensified efforts will be placed on supporting the emergence of _a critical mass of conscientised Pan African Young leaders and professionals through the full operation and _institutionalization of the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps Policies and programmes to support skills _development among youth and women will be designed, implemented and promoted.

Africa's capacities in STI will be strengthened through strategic investments and active advocacy and _promotion. The Commission will support the full implementation of the Consolidated Plan of Action for _Science & Technology and strengthen and consolidate training and research in STEM (Science, _Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The continent's scientific capacity will be boosted through _accelerating the full establishment and operations of the Pan African University. The Commission's efforts _to promote strategic investments in science, research and innovation will aim to boost Africa's Global _Competitiveness.

The Social Policy Framework (SPF) of the AU remains the main pillar geared towards creating benefits for _all, including the vulnerable groups. For that reason, the Commission will develop a clear implementation _framework that comprises monitoring and evaluation. The Commission will seek to address social security _needs and protection of vulnerable groups such as children and persons living with disabilities through full _implementation of the Plan of Action of the African Family, Revised Call for Accelerated Action on the Plan _of Action Towards Africa Fit for Children, the Continental Plan of Action on Africa's Decade of Persons _with Disabilities, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children.

To implement these strategies and actions under this outcome, the Commission's department of Social _Affairs will take the lead. For each output under this outcome the lead AUC departments, the cooperating _departments and the external partners have been identified.

RECs and Member States' institutions are the principal actors in the implementation and monitoring of _actions on the ground, working closely with the NPCA.