Language Switcher

Social Affairs

Social 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.

  • January 31, 2016

    ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA- 1 February 2016 – The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) gathered Saturday at the 26th African Union Summit to celebrate unprecedented progress against malaria in Africa.

  • GROUP PHOTO OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE AU COMMISSION Photo of the leadership of the African Union Commission (AUC), under the Chairmanship of H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, 13 January 2016, AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    January 14, 2016

    Photo of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, with the male Commissioners of the African Union (AU)

    IMG_0357 AUC with male Commissioners edited.JPG

    For further information:

  • December 14, 2015 to December 15, 2015


    Factoring in Outcomes of the Valetta Summit on Migration

    14-15 DECEMBER 2015


  • December 03, 2015

    Lusaka, Zambia- 03 December 2015-African Union Member States and Regional Economic Communities meeting last week reviewed the draft catalytic framework to end AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa by 2030.

  • December 03, 2015

    Harare, Zimbabwe-03 December 2015- African leaders and parliaments gathering in Harare Tuesday to mark the World AIDS Day called for sustained leadership to fast track current efforts to end AIDS by 2030.

  • December 01, 2015

  • November 30, 2015 to December 01, 2015

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 November, 2015: The 2nd Biennial scientific conference on medicines regulation in Africa has opened today 30 November, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme “Regulatory Systems Strengthening for advancing Research, Innovation and Local Pharmaceutical production i

  • November 27, 2015

    The 1st Meeting of the Bureau of the 4th Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4) kicked off on Wednesday 25 November 2015 In Harare, Zimbabwe.The three (3) day meeting was jointly organized by the AU Department of Social Affairs and Government of Zimbabwe, through its Ministry of Rural Development

  • November 26, 2015 to November 27, 2015


    What: First African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa

    When: 26 – 27 November 2015

  • Meeting of Regional Economic Communities in Preparation for the Africa-EU Summit on Migration, Accra, Ghana
    September 16, 2015 to September 18, 2015

    16-18 September 2015: Meeting of Regional Economic Communities in Preparation for the Africa-EU Summit on Migration, Accra, Ghana

  • The African Union and HelpAge urge member states to promote the rights of older people in Africa
    September 10, 2015

    The African Union and HelpAge urge member states to promote the rights of older people in Africa
    Addis Ababa,10 September 2015:The African Union Commission (AUC) and HelpAge International have urged African Union Member States to develop and implement policies that protect the rights of older people in Africa.This was during a roundtable meeting on the Role of older persons in achieving Africa’s agenda 2063which took placetoday 10 September 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the members of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) and other key stakeholders.
    The Chairperson of the PRC, H.E Albert RanganaiChimbindi, reiterated the willingness of the African Union to guarantee that the developmental approach of the Africa’s Agenda 2063 is inclusive. He recognised that older people are the custodians of the African culture and therefore, deserve that Africa creates conditions for their contribution to the achievement of the objectives of Agenda 2063. He also highlighted that to address the issue of older people in Africa is also a window of opportunity for the continent to better plan the future of the younger generation.
    The Director of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission Ambassador OlawaleMaiyegun informed member states that the population of older people in Africa is increasing drastically and therefore there is an urgent need to ensure that specific measures are in place to address the needs of older people.
    Ambassador Maiyegunsaid that although the African Union is making efforts to address ageing issues by setting up frameworks and legal instruments including the AU Policy Framework on Plan of Action on Ageing (AUPFAA), the Africa’s Agenda 2063, the African Common Position on Post 2015 sustainable development (AU, 2014) and the recently approved Protocol on the Rights of Older People; more needs to be done to implement these instruments at the national levels. He also called upon the PRC representatives to encourage their respective States to manage proactively the adoption and ratification process of the approved Protocol.
    Thecall to African governments in Addis Ababa follows the release of Global AgeWatch Index 2015 report by HelpAge International whose main aim is to raise visibility of ageing at regional and national levels as well as provide a framework for governments and institutions to respond to ageing population and the UN Secretary General call for Data Revolution.
    The Global AgeWatch Index 2015 notes that older women and men in Africa experience economic and social hardships with the majority unable to access basic services. It reviews 13 different indicators for the four key domains of Income security, Health status, Capability, and Enabling environment. Due to lack of relevant data, only 11 African countries are included in the Global Age Watch Index out of the total 93.
    The countries are Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and United Republic of Tanzania.
    “The big story this year in the Index, is that millions of older people are invisible, living their lives in countries where information on the quality of older age is missing from international data sets,” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive of HelpAge International. He added that poverty rates in old age are missing from international data sets in at least 93 countries. “It’s particularly shocking in Africa where there was only enough data available to include 11 out of 54 countries,” he said.
    According to Dr Prafulla Mishra, Regional Director, HelpAge International, East, West and Central Africa, there is increased recognition of the ageing population and the challenge it poses for the inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. He welcomed the approved Protocol on the Rights of older people andurged the African Union to make use of the Global AgeWatch Index as yet another important tool to use to generate data and plan for older persons.
    Mr.Sola Mahoney, HelpAge International Trustee emphasisedthat older men and women of Africa continue to live miserable lives of poverty and lack basic human rights needs including access to a secure income, shelter and food. Without a well-established social security strategy, older people’s right to live dignified lives will be impossible to achieve. “Older people play a critical role in many aspects of Africa’s economic and social development”, notedMr.Sola.
    Furthermore, Mr.Sola challenged governments to put systems in place that facilitate inter-generational exchange of knowledge and skills and for the two generations to work together and realize Agenda 2063. “We need to be careful that we should not focus all our efforts in taking care of the youth at the expense of the other generations. We should strive to ensure that we leave no one behind,” Sola said.
    The roundtable took place in the context of the implementation of the Agenda 2063 aiming to eradicate poverty in one generation and build shared prosperity through social and economic transformation of the Continent. The first of the seven aspirations of the new continental development framework calls for “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”. More specifically,it intends, among others,to provide social security and protection for older persons on the continent.
    Notes to the Editors
    • The African population is expected to rise drastically from about 1.1billion in 2013 to at least 2.4 billion in 2030 (UNDESA, 2013), making Africa the world’s continent with highest population growth and characterized by high numbers of youth.
    • In 2014, about 40 per cent of the population was under 15, and nearly 70 per cent was under 30. Similarly, the increase of the number of older people will also be experienced.
    • Currently Africa has approximately 60 million people aged 60 years and above; by 2030, there will be 103 million older women and men in Africa.
    • In Sub Saharan Africa, the population of older people is projected to increase four folds from 36.6 to 141 million between 2005 and 2050 . Similar to other developing countries, the majority of the older people in Africa will be living in rural areas and older women will outnumber men by virtue of their longer life expectancy.
    • The African Union Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Social development, labour and employment recently adopted the Africa Protocol on the Rights of Older people. The Protocol is expected to be adopted by African Heads of States in January 2016.
    For more information contact:
    NenaThundu Policy Officer,Social Affairs Department, African Union Commission, Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00, Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44, E-mail:
    Jamillah Mwanjisi, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, HelpAge International, EWCA +254720043823 Email: Skype: JamillahMwanjisi
    Erna Mentesnot Hintz, Communications Officer, HelpAgeInternational, Ethiopia, Tel +251 (0)116 189 512, cell +251 (911)487785 email: Skype: erna.mentesnot.hintz
    For further information contact:
    Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Web Site: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
    Follow us
    Learn more at:

  • 11th African Games - Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 04-19 September, 2015
    September 04, 2015 to September 19, 2015

    Africa reaffirms its commitment to promote unity through sports as the first African Games under the ownership of the African Union ended in Brazzaville
    Brazzaville, Congo, 21 September 2015. The 11th edition of the African Games officially ended on 19th September 2015 after 15 days of intense competition at the Kintele Stadium and sporting Complex in Brazzaville, Congo. The African Union Commission honored the closing ceremony of the Games with the presence of a delegation headed by the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Erastus Mwencha accompanied by the Commissioner for Human resources, Science and Technology, H.E Dr. Martial de Paul Ikounga. The ceremony, presided over by H.E Denis Sassou Nguesso, was attended by some Heads of State and Government as well as high ranking officials from African countries.
    The colorful closing ceremony was an occasion to display the rich and diverse African culture as well as its dynamism and potential. The participants had an opportunity to visualize the aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 aiming to create “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics”. Indeed different performances by African artists described a continent relying on the values of community, hard work and mutual respect and ready to take charge of its own destiny. Brazzaville, cradle of the African Olympic spirit, successfully hosted the 11th edition of African Games, after the organization of the very first edition in 1965, 50 years ago.
    During the closing ceremony the Minister of Sports of Congo and President of the organizing committee, Mr. Leon Opimba handed over the AU flag to the AUC Deputy Chairperson, H.E Erastus Mwencha, as the AU is the owner of the African Games and the institution implementing the decision of the African Union Executive Council establishing the new architecture for Sports in Africa and approving the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA). The integrated functions of the SCSA including the ownership, coordination and organization of the African Games were transferred to the African Union in January 2012.
    Mr. Opimba commended the fair play spirit of the African youth during the competition and expressed his gratitude to the African Union for its leadership and constructive collaboration. He pointed out the fact that sport is a catalyst towards bringing the African people together and a driver for peace on the continent. He also highlighted that the 11th edition of the African Games was a window of opportunity to show the ability of Africa to host important sporting events.
    This 11th edition brought together 8000 athletes competing in 22 sporting disciplines, 1000 officials and 1000 journalists to celebrate Pan-Africanism and African solidarity The next edition will take place in 2019.
    About the African games
    African Games is a Pan-African multidisciplinary sports event which gathered African Union member states every 4 four years to promote African unity and solidarity through sports. The celebration of the Africanness on the continent through sports started in 1960 marked by the organization of the first Friendship Games held in Madagascar. However, the Friendship Games was reserved exclusively to French-speaking countries.
    In order to correct involve all African countries in the games, a conference of African Sports Ministers recommended the organization of games involving all African countries. The Decision facilitated the participation of several English-speaking countries during the 1963 Friendship Games, held in Dakar. This was without a doubt a major triggering factor in the hosting of an event on a continental scale. And in the end, it was Brazzaville who hosted the first African Games from 18 to 25 July, 1965 with the participation of 30 countries, competing in 10 sporting disciplines. JL/wzm
    Further media inquiries should be directed to:
    Jerry Laurence Lemogo |Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission | Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | E-mail: | Web: | Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
    Follow us:
    Face book:
    Learn more at:


Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Country where the Activity took place
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Specify an Individual's Title

Department of Social Affairs
The Department works to promote the AU’s labour, social development and cultural agenda. Its core roles include: providing support for the implementation of Member States’ policies on labour, population, health and migration; developing programmes and strategies on drug control and other issues; and promoting AU instruments for advancing the social and solidarity agenda. The Department has five divisions: Health, Nutrition and Population; HIV/AIDs, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Other Infectious Diseases; Labour, Employment and Migration; Social Welfare, Vulnerable Groups and Drug Control; and Culture and Sport. It also hosts the Secretariat of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). See the Judicial and Human Rights Institutions chapter for details about ACERWC. The Department also works with the following two specialised offices: the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) and the Centre for Linguistic and Historical Studies by Oral Tradition (CELHTO).
Key African Social and Human Development Commitments
Social Policy Framework for Africa: The AU Commission’s (AUC) programme on social development is based on a human-centered approach that seeks to promote human rights and dignity. The programme encompasses health and endemic diseases; migration; population; reproductive health and rights; culture; sport; social welfare and protection of vulnerable groups including children, people with disabilities, the older persons; the family; gender equality; education; and human resource development, amongst others.
AU Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing
Continental efforts to address the challenges resulting from an ageing population in Africa started at the 1999 Session of the OAU Labour and Social Affairs Commission that was held in Windhoek, Namibia.The partnership between HelpAge International – Africa Development Centre and the then OAU and now African Union, has, over time, seen the drafting and finalisation of the AU Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing in Africa. The policy received the final seal of approval during the 38th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Durban, South Africa in July 2002.
The African Union Commission harmonises and coordinates activities and policies across the continent, in order to build further structure and opportunities for using culture for integration and African renaissance, cultural development, promotion of creative and cultural industries. The Division works with the RECs, Member States and development partners to ensure the implementation of cultural policies that create jobs, promote the continent’s enormous resources and skills and changes lives.
Social Welfare, Vulnerable Groups and Drug Control
The African Union Commission works with Member States and development partners to create and strengthen social protection systems that aims at reducing social and economic risk and vulnerability. These social safety nets have multiple beneficial economic impacts, build human capital, break intergenerational poverty cycle and reduce growing inequalities. It leads in advocating the rights and welfare of vulnerable groups emphasising human-centred sustainable development and inclusion of vulnerable groups in the development of policies and programmes. Due to the impact of drugs, crime and corruption on development efforts in African countries the the African Union Commission leads on continental efforts to address organised crime, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, money laundering and corruption. The Commission works with Regional Economic Communities, Member States and development partners for policy development, advocacy, resource mobilisation and coordination of implementation social welfare and drug control policies.
Health, Nutrition and Population
The African Union Commission plays a facilitating role, especially, with respect to: policy and strategy setting, coordination, catalysing Africa’s health agenda as it relates to the continents socio-economic development and integration. It achieves this through consensus building, advocacy and experience and information sharing. The Commission addresses health issues related to policy and delivery systems, nutrition and other related public health issues and challenges that require a concerted and coordinated approach at the continental level. The Commission works to develop and support implementation of policies and programmes related to strengthening of health systems (including human resources for health, medicines, e-health and traditional medicine), sexual and reproductive health and rights, population, and nutrition. The Department of Social Affairs of the AU Commission also serves as the Secretariat for the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa.
AIDS, TB, Malaria and Other Infectious Diseases (OIDs)
The African continent continues to bear a high disease burden due largely to a plethora of communicable and infectious diseases. While significant progress has been made AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and a host of other infectious diseases continue ‎to affect human capital development. This is despite the progress registered, resulting in poor performance on reaching targets of the ‎MDGs and the low regional score of Africa on the Human Development Index. The African Union Commission provides a leadership role in advocacy, coordination and monitoring and evaluation working in close collaboration with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and development partners. It primarily coordinates the processes of developing, implementing and monitoring programmes in prevention and control of communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, diseases surveillance and response and disaster preparedness and response. The Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission also serves as the Secretariat of AIDS Watch Africa (AWA).
The African Union recognises sport as an effective tool to attain social and economic transformation on the continent. The contribution sport makes to the social and economic development of the African continent is multi-faceted. Sport is increasingly being recognised as a tool for supporting development efforts throughout the world. The African Union Commission promotes the implementation of the Sports Policy Framework and the new Architecture for Sport in Africa as factors for social cohesion, peace, development and integration in collaboration with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and development partners. The Commission promotes participation and excellence, build capacity and promote ethics and values for sport in Africa. The AU Commission works with various stakeholders to provide a dynamic sport environment that enables all Africans to experience and enjoy involvement in sport to the extent of their abilities and interests and to perform consistently and successfully at the highest competitive level..
AIDS Watch Africa
Created at the Abuja 2001 Special Summit, AIDS Watch Africa (AWA) is an Africa-led instrument to stimulate leaders into action and mobilize the resources needed to address AIDS, TB and Malaria in an effective, sustainable and accountable manner.
Campaign - End Child Marriage Now
Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18 or “any marriage carried out below the age of 18 years, before the girl is physically, physiologically, and psychologically ready to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing. Child marriage has devastating and long term effects ( health, education, psychological, emotional, mental etc.) on the life and the future of girls. It is a human rights, gender, health and culture, as well as a development issue.
Campaign on Accelerated Reduction on Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA)
The Campaign on Accelerated Reduction on Maternal Mortality in Africa was launched in 2009 with the theme ‘Africa cares: No woman should die while giving life’. CARMMA’s operations are derived from key priority areas enshrined in the 2005 AU Policy Framework for the Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Africa and the Maputo Plan of Action (2006). CARMMA focuses on three key areas which are public information and advocacy; encouraging achievements and strides made in some countries in reducing maternal mortality and seeking to replicate them; and intensifying actions aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality. The campaign mobilises increased political commitment and action to reduce maternal mortality in countries with high rates.
Leadership of the Department of Social Affairs
Commissioner Social Affairs
Directorate of Department of Social Affairs
Dr. Olawale I. Maiyegun
P.O.Box 3243
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel Off: (+251) 115 51 77 00 Ext 300
Director(+251) 115 51 35 22