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Political Affairs

Political Affairs

The African Union is committed to Strengthening a people centered Union through active communication of the programmes of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of Member States and other stakeholders in defining and implementing the African agenda.

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Elections
In the 1960s and 1970s, Africa reportedly averaged only 28 elections for the decade. By the 1990s, this had increased to 65 per decade. Between 2000 and 2005 alone, African countries held 41 elections . It is reported that in 2011, 18 countries in Africa are considered electoral democracies as compared to only four in 1991.
Democratization, Human Rights and Good Governance
The Commission has established the African Governance Architecture and Platform as the overall political and institutional framework for enhancing coordination, interaction and synergies among AU organs, institutions and RECs in promoting good governance and democracy in Africa.
Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Displaced Persons
The African Union has developed a draft Humanitarian Policy Framework, aimed at promoting greater legal preparedness of member-states to overcome regulatory barriers to effective cross-border disaster assistance.
Department of Political Affairs
The Department is the African Union Commission body responsible for promoting good governance, democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as the participation of civil society organisations in the development of Africa. Key work includes promoting these AU shared values; implementing AU instruments on governance, elections, democracy and humanitarian affairs; coordinating AU election observation and monitoring missions; providing technical support to the electoral bodies; coordinating implementation of the African governance architecture and its platform; and implementing sustainable solutions to humanitarian and political crises, including through preventive diplomacy. The Department has two divisions: Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Elections; and Humanitarian Affairs, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
Human Rights Strategy for Africa
The Human Rights Strategy for Africa is a guiding framework for collective action by AU, RECs and member states aimed at Strengthening the African human rights system. The Strategy seeks to address the current challenges of the African human rights system in order to ensure effective promotion and protection of human rights on the continent.
Action Plan 2012-2016: Human and People's Rights Strategy for Africa
The African human rights system is strengthened in order to deepen the culture of democracy and human rights in conformity with the objectives of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and other relevant instruments.
Enhanced coordination and coherence among AU organs, RECs and member states on human rights.
Strengthened capacity of institutions at continental, regional and national levels for an effective human rights system.
Ratification of human rights instruments is accelerated.
Effective implementation of human rights instruments and decisions.
Increased promotion and popularisation of African human rights norms.
African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM)
Electoral observation and monitoring has become an integral part of the democratic and electoral processes in Africa. International, regional and national observers have come to play important roles in enhancing the transparency and credibility of elections and democratic governance in Africa and the acceptance of election results throughout the continent. Electoral observation and monitoring missions can also play key roles in diminishing conflicts before, during and after elections. In as much as the mandate of AUEOMs could differ from country to country, the continental body has a broad mandate to assess the quality and credibility of elections on the Continent through observation, monitoring, mediation, the provision of technical assistance, supervision and the conducting of post-election audits.
Shared Values
Shared Values give us a lens through which to operate, making clear that certain principles apply to Member State dealings with its own citizens within its own borders. A focus on Shared Values can also be a useful aid in how Member States interact across borders.
The African Governance Architecture (AGA)
AGA is the overall political and institutional framework for the promotion of good governance in Africa by enhancing interaction and synergies between African Union organs/institutions with a formal mandate in governance and strengthen and their capacity to produce “Shared" agendas of Governance.
Leadership of the Department of Political Affairs
Commissioner for Political Affairs H.E Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria (elected in July 2012)
Contact: Tel: +251115182653 | Email: abdullahia@africa-union.org
Director - Mr. Khabele Matlosa, Lesotho
Contact: Tel: +251115182653|Email: abdullahia@africa-union.org