AU Watch

Specialized Technical Committee Unit

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What do you know about the Specialized Technical Committee Unit of the AU? No, I am not smiling.

The AU is the principal political regional forum for Africa for facilitating international cooperation among its Member States to promote democracy, human rights, multidimensional security, and the advancement of sustainable and inclusive development. For the last 56 years, the O/AU has been an important political and economic force in Africa, whether acknowledged as such or not. But how many Africans and even non-Africans know what the AU does? How do Africans view the AU? Of those who know what the AU may be doing, how many think it’s an organisation fit for purpose? What are the perceptions of its citizens about the role of the AU on issues like governance, corruption and human rights? Are these aligned with the way in which the AU leadership perceives its role and influence on the continent?

These are important questions. We are of the view that as the most important multilateral forum for Africa, it has to be made to work for the people it claims to be working for. A politically stable, economically attractive African continent is not only in Africa’s interest, but also in the interest of the world.

Anyway, back to the STCs. Specialized Technical Committees are responsible for ensuring supervision, follow-up and evaluation of implementation of decisions taken by the organs of the African Union; coordination and harmonization of projects and programmes; as well as providing critical review of strategic documents for endorsement by AU Policy organs. Specialized Technical Committees are expected to meet at least every two years in order to discharge the responsibilities vested upon them by the African Union Assembly.

The Unit is panning its lenses and monitoring the activities of these lesser known specialized agencies, technical offices, treaty bodies and other institutions. They too need to be held to account.

These include, AU Institute for Statistics (STATAFRIC), Pan African Youth Union (PYU), International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (CIEFFA), Fund for African Women, African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI), Pan African University (PAU), African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), African Energy Commission (AFREC), Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR), Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development (SAFGRAD), Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre (PANVAC), African Risk Capacity (ARC), Centre for Linguistic and Historical Studies by Oral Tradition (CELHTO), Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (STRC), Pan African Institute for Education for Development (IPED)/African Observatory for Education, Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC), Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), Fouta Djallon Coordination Office, African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), and the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN).

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