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 his or her duties. Article 8 of the Commission Statutes outlines the Chairperson’s functions, including:
• Chairing all Commission meetings and deliberations
• Undertaking measures aimed at promoting and popularising the AU’s objectives and enhancing its performance
• Submitting reports requested by the Assembly, Executive Council, Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), committees and any other organs
• Preparing the AU budget and strategic planning documents
• Acting as a depository for all AU and OAU treaties and legal instruments
• Facilitating the functioning, decision-making and reporting of all AU organ meetings, and ensuring conformity and harmony with agreed AU policies, strategies, programmes and projects
• Consulting and coordinating with Member States’ governments, other institutions and the RECs on the AU’s activities, and carrying out the AU’s diplomatic representations
• Appointing and managing Commission staff
• Assuming overall responsibility for the Commission’s administration and finances
• Preparing the annual report on the AU and its organs’ activities.
The Chairperson of the Commission is elected by the AU Executive Council and appointed by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once (Commission Statutes, article 10).
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa2012–(current)
Jean Ping, Gabon2008–12
Alpha Oumar Konaré, Mali2003–08
Amara Essy, Côte d’Ivoire (interim)22002–03 (OAU–AU transition years)