The Commission is the Secretariat of the Union entrusted with executive functions. It is composed of 10 Officials: A Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson; Eight (8) Commissioners and Staff members. The structure represents the Union and protects its interest under the auspices of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government as well as the Executive Committee. The AU Commission is made up of Portfolios. They are: Peace and Security; Political Affairs; Trade and Industry; Infrastructure and Energy; Social Affairs; Rural Economy and Agriculture; Human Resources, Science and Technology; and Economic Affairs.
In a message by Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the AU Commission on the occasion of the Africa Day Celebration under the Theme: “Year of Refugees, Returnees and IDPS: Towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa”, on 25 May 2019, he said: “Our shared vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens is the irreplaceable tool of our influence on the international scene. This common vision is also the instrument to fast- track our integration through an African space of freedom, opportunities, progress and development. Our duty is to tackle head-on the paradox that makes this potentially rich continent the continent with the largest number of poor countries.”
In 2019, the African Union Commission faces many challenges, with conflicts old and new ones simmering across the continent. To help resolve these crises – AU Watch will be prioritising five urgent tasksthe AU commission it believes the AU commission should be working on.
As we usher in 2020, you may have noticed that at the local level, especially where you have entrenched governments, they face a perilous mix of social unrest and political contestation. It is still early days in 2020, but it already bears ugly scars of violent repression, in Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and even Tanzania, as well as older wounds from persistent crises in places like the Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia or South Sudan. The remarkable transition witnessed in Ethiopia stands as a powerful counterpoint, but in too many places – as elsewhere across the region – autocratic rule, immovable elites, predatory state behaviour and corruption are fuelling popular anger.
Are the AU Commission and the Recs, engines and heartbeat of the AU system up to the task of dealing with these challenges? Unfortunately, apart from people who work in those departments and a few concerned citizens like us, the vast majority of Africans don’t have a clue what these organizations really do. Working with AU Watch’s Organs Program, it will monitor all the activities taking place at the Commission and formulate policy and actions for AU Watch.