Specialised Technical Committees
Specialised Technical Committees (STCs) are thematic Committees and are answerable to the Executive Council. Each STC is composed of Member States’ ministers and senior officials responsible for sectors falling within their respective areas of competence.
The purpose of the STCs is to work in close collaboration with AUC departments to ensure the harmonisation of AU projects and programmes as well as coordination with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The Constitutive Act of the AU provides that each committee shall, within its field of competence:
- Prepare AU projects and programmes and submit them to the Executive Council
- Ensure the supervision, follow up and evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by AU organs
- Ensure the coordination and harmonisation of AU projects and programmes
- Submit to the Executive Council, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Executive Council, reports and recommendations on the implementation of the provisions of the Constitutive Act
- Carry out any other functions assigned to it for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of the Constitutive Act.
STC on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration
The STC is the prime forum for African ministers responsible for finance, economy, planning, integration and economic development, as well as central bank governors, to discuss matters about the development of Africa. This STC is also charged with following up on implementation of the integration agenda for the continent.
STC on Social Development, Labour and Employment
The STC promotes and develops cooperation amongst African countries in the field of social protection, labour, employment, productivity and poverty alleviation. It reviews and harmonises Member States’ policies and legislation, and coordinates Common African Positions to advance African interests, promote tripartism and freedom of association, collective bargaining and decent work. The STC also reviews and assesses progress made by Member States and Regional Economic Communities in implementing the various instruments and policies that advance social protection.
STC on Health, Population and Drug Control
The STC reviews progress on the implementation of continental policies, strategies, programmes and decisions in its sector. The STC also identifies areas of cooperation and establishes mechanisms for regional, continental and global cooperation. It further serves to elaborate Common African Positions in its three areas, and advises relevant AU policy organs on priority programmes and their impact on improving lives.
STC on Justice and Legal Affairs
The STC’s has the following powers and functions: considering AU draft treaties and other legal instruments or documents; surveying international law with a view to selecting topics for codification within AU legal frameworks; following up on issues concerning the signature, ratification/accession, domestication and implementation of OAU/AU treaties. All STCs and the AU Commission on International Law (AUCIL) submit their proposed legal instruments to the STC for further consideration.
STC on Youth, Culture and Sports
The STC’s functions include considering progress on: implementing the Decade for Youth Development 2009–18 Plan of Action, including the Youth Volunteer Corps, youth capacity building and the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Project in post-conflict countries; ratification and implementation of the African Youth Charter, Charter for the African Cultural Renaissance and the Policy Framework for the Sustainable Development of Sport in Africa; establishing the Architecture for Sport Development, Architecture for Culture Development in Africa, Pan African Cultural Institute and the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC); and implementing adult education and lifelong learning.
STC on Public Service, Local Government, Urban Development and Decentralisation
The STC’s powers and functions include: developing, promoting and implementing the AU integration agenda and vision; promoting Member States’ efforts for effective governance and development, and building capacity; preventing and combatting corruption; promoting post-conflict reconstruction of public services, decentralisation and local governance, and innovative approaches to service delivery including through information communications technology (ICT); and developing a mechanism for promoting sustainable human settlements.
STC on Communication and Information Communications Technology
The STCs powers and functions include: overseeing development and implementation of policies on access to information and freedom of expression; overseeing promotion of the capacity of African media; developing common African e-strategies; discussing resource mobilisation and capacity building for implementation of the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy; promoting public investment in ICT infrastructure; and developing frameworks for ICT policy and regulation harmonisation in Africa.
During its session held in November 2017 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia the STC made several key decisions to be enacted by the AU Commission including, adopting Cyber Security as a Flagship project of Agenda 2063, speeding up the establishment of the Dot Africa foundation recognise the contributions of journalists towards the achievement of Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 and institutionalise the Pan-African Media Awards on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment and the contributions of journalists who give attention to development issues towards the achievement of Agenda 2063 and institutionalise the Pan-African Media Awards on Promoting Agenda 2063
STC on Defence, Safety and Security
The STC’s powers and functions include: facilitating development of the African Standby Force (ASF) and African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises
(ACIRC) Revised Roadmap III; discussing recruitment of additional civilian personnel for the AUC Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD); and discussing Member State contributions for funding AU peace operations.
STC on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment
The STC’s focuses on reviewing strategic goals and identifying synergies and linkages, as well as implications for achieving the overarching goals of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (of June 2014); boosting the
agenda for attaining food and nutrition security; reducing poverty; boosting intra-African trade; enhancing resilience to climate change, related shocks and disasters.
STC on Education, Science and Technology
The STC works on elaborating, adopting and monitoring implementation of the African Continental Strategy for Education and the Continental Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training; ensuring Member States provide education data to the African Observatory for Education and the African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI); establishing performance indicators for and receiving reports from relevant national, regional and continental agencies and institutions; monitoring implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024); engaging with Member States, international development partners and the African Diaspora to mobilise resources; overseeing the promotion, coordination and strengthening of programmes in response to the Sustainable Development Goals.
STC on Gender and Women’s Empowerment
The STC’s role includes advocating for: ratification and implementation of AU policies and instruments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights; promotion and protection of all human rights for women, including implementation of Member States’ obligations and commitments made under international, continental, regional and country-level human rights law; promotion of gender-responsive practices and realisation of commitments to the human rights of women.
STC on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
The STC’s functions include strengthening mechanisms for effective humanitarian response on the continent through establishment of an African humanitarian agency; strengthening protection and assistance for populations in need of humanitarian assistance including through the formulation and implementation of AU guidelines; strengthening measures to popularise international humanitarian law and principled action; discussing Africa’s first comprehensive Humanitarian Policy Framework, including guidelines on disaster management, epidemic response, and the role of the African Standby Force in humanitarian and disaster situations.
STC on Transport, Infrastructure, Intercontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism
The STC’s functions include: elaborating continental policies; development strategies, regulations, standards and programmes for transport, infrastructure, energy and tourism; ensuring oversight, monitoring and evaluation of decisions; ensuring coordination of programmes and projects; and monitoring relations with international partners.
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1. The AU needs adequate, reliable and predictable resources to implement its programmes so as to achieve its development and integration goals. Successive Summits of the AU have since 2015, taken financial reform decisions, to ensure there is sound and predictable finances to address the historical challenges the African Union has faced. These are;
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