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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.

  • Nov.30.2015 to Dec.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

  • Nov.26.2015 to Nov.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
    Sep.16.2015 to Sep.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

    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
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  • 11th African Games - Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 04-19 September, 2015
    Sep.04.2015 to Sep.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
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  • Second Bureau Meeting Focuses on Strengthening the Interface between Youth Culture and Sport

    Second Bureau Meeting Focuses on Strengthening the Interface between Youth Culture and Sport
    3 September 2015- The Second Bureau Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Youth, Culture and Sport took place today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the Republic of Congo’s capital, Brazzaville.
    Among the guests present at the meeting were: The African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E Dr. Mustafa Sidiki Kaloko; Youth and Civic Education Minister of the Republic of Congo H.E Anatole Collinet Makosso; the State Minister and Chief of Staff of the President Mr. Firmin Ayessa and African Union Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology H.E Dr. Martial De Paul Ikounga.
    The main objectives of the meeting included: An endorsement of the request to host the sub-committee on sport; review the progress on the implementation of decisions of the first meeting on youth, culture and sport; and discuss the proposed theme, date and venue for the Second Session of the Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth, Culture and Sport.
    A common sentiment shared by all the speakers was Africa’s need to empower the youth and foster a spirit of unity. Mr Makosso spoke on the importance of culture and sport to the development of youth. He also encouraged investing in and creating sustainable initiatives, so that the dividends would go towards developing young people.
    AU Commissioner of Human Resources Science and Technology Dr Martial de Paul Ikounga described sport as a unifying factor. “We should work to ensure sport continues to unite people”, he said. Recalling African success at the recently ended the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) world championships athletics held in Beijing, Dr. Ikounga said: “We are happy that Kenya has demonstrated that Africa is on the way to actualizing its dreams.” Commissioner Ikounga also recalled that Africa’s development path is well mapped out in the continental Agenda 2063 Framework. “We don’t need to make another agenda”, he said.
    While the continent is acknowledged for fostering some of the world’s top talents, some challenges still need to be addressed. There is a need to create sustainable solutions to problems that the youth face, which include unemployment and having a favorable business environment across Africa. These were the views expressed by State Minister and Chief of Staff of the President Mr Firmin Ayessa at the meeting.
    The State Minister also reminded the guests that the youth are waiting for answers on three fronts: investment, opportunities and capacity building. He also touched on the Invention and Innovation meeting, which takes place every two years, as an opportunity for the youth to showcase their work and talents.
    Today’s meeting took place against the backdrop of the 11th edition of the Africa Games which are due to be officially opened by Congolese President Mr Denis Sassou Nguesso on 4 September in Brazzaville, an occasion which will be attended by African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. The games this year also mark 50 years since the country hosted the first ever African Games in 1965. JO/WZM

  • The Republic of Zimbabwe Launches AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa

    The Republic of Zimbabwe Launches AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa
    "Child molesters, pedophiles, and rapists should not be allowed to get away with lenient sentences such as community service. Child marriage is a tragedy for the girl child, her unborn children and her country's development"
    Harare, Zimbabwe, 31 July 2015 – “We have a crisis on our hands. The UN estimates that 15 million girls experience child marriage each year. That is more than the entire population of Zimbabwe. We must move from vulnerability to voice and leadership. Africa is young and full of innovation. This energy must be harnessed to ensure that we have lasting solutions", said Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the AU Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage in Africa at the national launch of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa which held at the Harare International Conference Centre, under the theme "We are Girls not Brides".
    Child marriage predominantly affects girls who live in poor and rural communities. The likelihood of girls being married off as children, stems largely from the lack of education and poverty. Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Africa; with about 31% of Zimbabwean girls being married before their 18th birthday and another 4% before they turn 15.
    Speaking at the launch, His Excellency, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs noted that the launch of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Zimbabwe comes at a time when H.E. Cde Robert Mugabe is the sitting Chairperson of the African Union and furthers His Excellency's commitment not just to the theme of the African Union for 2015, i.e. Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063, but also to issues affecting women and girls across the continent. This has also been evidenced in the way His Excellency was able to galvanize other Heads of States into adopting the African Common Position on Ending Child Marriage during the June 2015 Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government.
    The Republic of Zimbabwe is the 8th African Nation to launch the AU Campaign following national launches in Ethiopia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Uganda. The Zimbabwean launch of the campaign also comes at a critical time when the country was recently under the global lens following a statement by Prosecutor-General Mr. Johannes Tomana on the age of sexual consent. This sparked a public outcry and accentuated the need for a nationwide campaign that tackles the harmful practice of child marriage with the focus of highlighting the consequences of allowing the perpetuation of the practice.
    In her keynote address, Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Dr. Grace Mugabe called on all Zimbabwean daughters to fight against the sentencing of girls to a lifetime of violation. She pleaded with girls not to be threatened into being married off but to strive for a better life; making education their first love. The First Lady also called on the Ministry of Justice to harmonize all laws on the age of marriage to 18 years as stipulated by the constitution and apply stiffer penalties and sentencing of violators. "Child molesters, pedophiles, and rapists should not be allowed to get away with lenient sentences such as community service. Child marriage is a tragedy for the girl child, her unborn children and her country's development", she affirmed. Dr. Mugabe also received the petition of the child parliamentarians and called on all Cabinet Ministers to jointly work towards a national action plan on ending child marriage in Zimbabwe.
    The event was attended by the Zimbabwean Senate President, Hon. Edna Madzongwe, the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda, Members of Senate and Parliament, Cabinet Ministers who all joined their voices to calling for an end to child marriages. Speaking on behalf of the UN agencies, the Resident Coordinator and Country Director for UNICEF, Mr Reza Hossani called on all stakeholders to reject social norms and break the cultural silence that continues to hide these violations of the rights of vulnerable children.
    About the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa
    The campaign was launched at the continental level in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 29 May 2014, during the Conference of Ministers of Social Development. It aims at ending child marriage by: (i) supporting legal and policy actions in the protection and promotion of human rights, (ii) mobilizing continental awareness of the negative socio-economic impact of child marriage, (iii) building social movement and social mobilization at the grassroots and national levels; and (iv) increasing the capacity of non-state actors to undertake evidence based policy advocacy including the role of youth leadership through new media technology, monitoring and evaluation among others.
    End ###
    For further information, please contact
    Ms. Nena Thundu;
    Mr. Kenneth Oliko; ||
    Directorate of Information and Communication
    Directorate of Information and Communication | Information and Communication | African Union Commission
    Tel: +251-11-5517700 | Fax: | E-mail: |
    Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

  • African Union holds Memorial Service for Migrant Victims

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 27th May 2015: “Member States must do more to make their countries attractive, safer and prosperous enough to discourage our future leaders of tomorrow from making these perilous journeys” emphasized the Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko during the migrant victims’ memorial service held at the African Union headquarters on 27th May 2015.
    This event, organized by the African Union, brought under one roof African ambassadors and Embassies accredited to the AU, Partners, Local and International Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, students, religious leaders and Returned migrants.
    In his remarks, the Commissioner expressed concern at the pattern in which young people are losing their lives through the hazardous journeys in search of better lives and order to support their families and underscored the need to find immediate and long-term solutions to prevent this kind of catastrophes.
    “Despite the initiatives that the African Union is undertaking on the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration, we have to accept that the challenges still remain and more needs to be done. We need to make a conscious effort to address the root causes of these tragedies by building each other up honestly and sincerely. We all can promote the positives of migration and minimize its negatives in our bid to fast track African integration which the AU Vision and Pan Africanism seek to promote.” Dr Kaloko said.
    The Commissioner highlighted that the event is not only to pay tribute and to honor the victims, but a time to reflect on where we have gone wrong and how we can all work on preventing such recurrent calamities in the future.
    The Ethiopian Government Representative, Ambassador Wahade Belay echoed the Commissioners’ sentiments, acknowledging that indeed irregular migration is a major challenge noting well that this increasingly severe situation requires a comprehensive and universal response to address and eliminate the abuse, violence and exploitation experienced by migrants and stressing the urgency for not only national but global action. “We need to get durable and comprehensive approaches to this situation within the context of poverty eradication, creation of employment and sustainable development,” he said.
    African Union Commission and partners, notably the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Labor Organization (ILO) and European Commission (EC) have been promoting the need for coordination on migration management, supporting Member States in strengthening responses to irregular migration and transnational organized crime, notably trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, and the protection of persons of concern.
    The AU partners, present in the event, also reiterated the fact that the situation needs to be addressed by attacking the root causes, agreeing that the challenge is huge and needs international interventions. The partners reaffirmed their support and promised to continue working closely with the African Union to find a permanent solution to these vices.
    The service ended with prayers and benediction from religious leaders.

  • The 4th Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4) Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
    May.25.2015 to May.27.2015

    Johannesburg, South Africa- 27 May 2015 – Following three-day intense discussions, the Fourth Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC4) adopted the draft Framework for Action and the Report of the PACC4. Both documents will be submitted to the 2nd Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Youth Culture and Sport (STC-YCS2) to be held in 2016.
    Co-organized from 25 to 27 May 2015 at the Sandton Convention Center, by the African Union Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa as part of its Africa Month Celebrations, the 2015 edition of the PACC was held under the theme:
    “Unity in Cultural Diversity for Africa’s Development.”
    The debate focused on the theme of PACC4; the cultural Diversity and Human Rights; the culture for Peace and Cultural Diversity as well as cultural Diversity and cultural governance. The approach to inventorying artists, professional and cultural structures and cultural infrastructures to inform cultural policy development and post 2015 Development Agenda for Culture have been discussed. The meeting shared as well views on the ways and means to improving understanding and cooperative relations; the issue of language as a depository and vehicle for cultural diversity and factor in Africa’s development and integration. The presentation of the Agenda 2063 communication strategy constituted an opportunity to discuss the appropriate approach to communicating Africa’s transformation in view to reach the main stakeholders: the African citizens. (The presentation of the Agenda 2063 communication strategy available on the AU Web Site:
    The participants highlighted the need for Africa to put an end to the suppression of cultural expression of one group by another and for African culture to be domesticated where other cultures tend to dominate in African communities, calling for the diminishment of the distance between cultural conferences and people at grassroots level for the latter to be able to participate effectively. An appeal
    was done to the AU to provide structures for the contributions of civil society to be incorporated more effectively and in this regard, the establishment of national chapters of ECOSOCC were considered as critical. The meeting stressed the necessity to expand and promote local arts and cultural festivals, and to invite participants from other countries to foster integration and tolerance between cultures.
    The meeting specified that diversity and Human Rights are crucial pillars supporting cultural development in Africa, while culture is an important tool of human heritage with power to strengthen social cohesion as a fundamental pillar for achieving lasting peace and development for any nation. It embraces freedom and democracy and it should be considered how arts and culture can be used for cultural diplomacy in dealing with conflicts, noting that a model culture policy for Africa is proposed, containing the elements of institutional structures and decision making, arts policy domains and instruments stressing that a database and mapping of existing artistic trends is important for each country.
    The participants underlined the need for education to be mobilised to realise linguistic rights; to use African languages in all levels of society. The meeting underscored that Africa should understand its history, to be able to start new creative industries and use its creativity to enhance the African economy. The meeting called for the improvement of culture governance, training, decentralisation, policy advocacy for creative solidarity and partnership all over the world.
    The PACC4 stated that Africa should strive for linguistic equity in order to catalyse acceleration of indigenous languages that have remained in the periphery of the development agenda stressing that there are several barriers that still need special attention: Trade barriers, language barriers, visa, official collaboration between African countries, Infrastructure challenges.
    Some critical recommendations were made. They include:
     Develop a culture of accepting one another through embracing diversified cultural expressions within the context of Human Rights principles;
     Promote and advocate the strengths of African diversity and incorporate it in the education curriculum;
     Promote African languages and introduce them in the school curriculum,
     AU must commit to the use of African languages in its meetings;
     Leadership should lead by example in using and promoting their African languages;
     Adoption of a Pan-African Language;
     Focus on children and young people, to educate them about cultural activities and socialise the children to develop national pride;
     Define steps to achieve African aspirations, more specifically aspiration 4 and 5 dealing with a peaceful continent, culture and heritage, respectively, following the adoption of Agenda 2063;
     Establish Platforms for interaction with indigenous groups at community level and other fora such as PACC;
     Establishment by Ministries of Culture of a research structure and ensure close relationship with Arts Faculties at universities for the purposes of developing and evaluating cultural policies.
     AU Member states should improve their planning in culture, also at local level;
     Protect Minority cultural groups in all countries and raise awareness of their cultural rights;
     Redress the economic returns of what artists are paid for their work;
     Establish dedicated offices or desks for culture in regional and continental bodies;
     Set up a forum of artists and policy makers in all countries for good governance of cultural policies;
     Mobilise wwealth of Africa for the development of Africa;
     Make efforts to understand African history and use African creativity to enhance the African economy and develop new creative industries.
     Advocate for creative solidarity and partnership all over the world;
     Move culture to the centre of sustainable development;
     Identify preconditions for Agenda 2063 to succeed and put together an operating environment for Africa’s Cultural Sector to prosper;
     Accelerate the ratification and domestication of relevant conventions and charters (Only 8 countries have ratified the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance);
     Promotion of cultural diplomacy;
     Accelerate the renewed attention on developing the African Cultural Common Market;
     Set up greater partnership between the cultural and creative sector and governments;
     Reduction of the dependency on foreign funders, and exploration of diversified funding models within Africa;
     Encourage regional and continental cultural and technical exchange through enhanced communication technologies;
     Reduction of the obstructions to the mobility of artists, cultural goods and services within regions, and within the continent;
     Envisage a Visa free for all Africans.
    The Full report and the Framework of Action available on the AU web Site: HMC/WM
    For any inquiry, please contact:
    Esther Azaa Tankou | Head of Information Division| Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission | Tel: +251911361185 | E-mail:
    Angela Martins| Head of Culture Division | Department of Social Affairs | African Union Commission | Tel: +251912960577 | E-mail:
    Ms. Zodwa Mpanza | Deputy Director of International Relations | Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa | Tel: + 27 82 884 3322| Email:
    Media contact: Ruphus Matibe | Email: | Tel: +27 83 608 27 80
    Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Web Site: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
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  • AUC – AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) Joint Conference /Roundtable Discussion

    AUC – AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) Joint Conference /Roundtable Discussion
    What: AUC – AFRIMA Joint Conference/Roundtable
    Theme: “Using Music, Culture and Entertainment as tools for a new Africa”
    Who: Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) and All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)
    When: 29th April 2015
    Where: African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Provide a platform for music professional and practitioners, recording artistes, cultural experts, policy makers and shapers, corporate sector and media working in the creative and culture sectors to interface within Africa’s rapidly evolving music scene and contribute to its transformation narrative.
    • Promote the cultural and musical heritage of Africa; stimulate conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the globe about the great potentials and values of the African culture and artistic heritage.
    • Identify challenges in the implementation of instruments related to the promotion of African music and culture
    • Stimulate advocacy among the media to project the benefits of the African creative industry as a driver of the creative economy holding limitless potential for the economic and socio-political development of Africa.
    • Review the mission and objectives of the AFRIMA programme of activities in partnership with the African Union Commission and mobilise greater participation and inclusiveness across the continent.
    • Unveil the 2015 AFRIMA Calendar of events as it pertains to promoting the AU cultural agenda for peace building, integration, democracy, economic advancement and youth/social development.
    Expected Outcome: Collaboration between the African Union Commission, the All Music Awards (AFRIMA) Initiative and other music stakeholders strengthened and enhanced;
    2015 AFRIMA programme of events unveiled;
    All Africa Music Awards Initiative publicised and disseminated;
    African cultural and creative industries promoted.
    Participants: The participants of the events will include: H.E. Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs; Mr. Mike Dada, AFRIMA President and Executive Producer; AFRIMA International Committee; Music experts and Media personnel
    Background: Creative economies are still in the stages of infancy in Africa, as our continent's economies remain heavily resource dependent. But the industries are providing Africa with real economic traction, a hub of cultural heritage with the opportunity to diversify its economy while at the same time stimulating social, cultural and political development.
    Furthermore, the cultivation/exploration of creative and cultural industries is imperative to satisfy the demands of a labor market dominated by an ever-increasing youth bulge.
    The fact that 200 million people in Africa are aged between 15 and 24 (with projections of these figures doubling by 2045 as per the 2012 African Economic Outlook report by the African Development Bank Group), further contributes to the prospects of innovative and entrepreneurial strategies that will significantly boost the creative and cultural industries of the continent. Africans are expected to reach a population of two billion by 2050, the majority under the age of 35, translating into a new consumer class.
    As part of the channels to communicate this mission and connect Africans, AFRIMA put together the world-class 2014 awards ceremony and programme of activities across the globe bringing the live experience of our cultural and musical entertainment to millions of fans and followers in Africa and beyond.
    For the 2015 edition to be hosted in Nigeria, AFRIMA is again aligning its values of promoting African unity and celebrating cultural uniqueness along the lines of the African Union Commission’s Charter for African Cultural Renaissance adopted in 2006 and which constitutes significant achievements for the promotion of cultural diversity and African cultural identity.
    The concept of African Cultural Renaissance is hailed as one of the main stimuli to fuel the realization of the AU’s vision for peace building, integration, democracy and active participation in the world’s joint effort towards sustainable development and mutual enrichment.
    AFRIMA will sustain and achieve this objective through various conferences involving the culture, business and entertainment sectors of African economy, music concerts at entertainment venues and on university campuses to further align the 18-24 target audience to African music and culture.
    The One-Day Programme is divided into three sections:
    1. A Closed-Door Roundtable Session involving AU Executives and AFRIMA International Executives
    2. Roundtable conference with AU executives, AFRIMA International Committee members, 2014 award winners and media
    3. A Joint Press Conference
    Media representatives are invited to cover the event.
    Attached is the work program of the event:
    DSA/AUC: Ms. Angela Martins
    Head of Culture Division; Department of Social Affairs; E-mail: .
    AFRIMA: Ms. Adenrele Niyi
    Programme Director; E-mail:
    For any media enquiries, please contact:
    Esther Azaa Tankou, Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission
    Tel: +251 911361185, E-mail:
    For further information:
    Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Web Site: I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia
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  • First Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control (STC-HPDC-1), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Apr.13.2015 to Apr.17.2015

    What: Press conference of the 1st Ministerial meeting of the 1st Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control
    The press conference will be addressed by H.E. Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs and the responsible ministers.
    When: 17 April 2015 at 12:00
    Where: New African Union Conference Centre, AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Journalists are invited to attend and cover the press conference of the ministerial meeting on
    Further media inquiries and requests for interviews should be directed to:
    Mrs Wynne Musabayana | Deputy Head of Communication and Information Division | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission | Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44 | E-mail:
    Wurie Bah, Communications and Advocacy Exert Department of Social Affairs| E-mail: tel; +251 912621689/ |Addis Ababa | Ethiopia. You can also visit and for more information.
    About the African Union
    The African Union spearheads Africa’s development and integration in close collaboration with African Union Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. AU Vision:to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peacewith itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable,efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at:

  • Roundtable on Intra-Regional Migration and Labour Mobility within Africa, Serena Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda
    Mar.23.2015 to Mar.25.2015

    The Roundtable on intra-regional migration and labour mobility in Africa kicked off today urging member States to focus on migration for better integration and inclusive development of the continent
    KIGALI, 23 March 2015- The Roundtable on intra-regional migration and labour mobility within Africa kicked off today, 23rd March 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda. This joint initiative is held under the theme “Enhancing capacities of RECs and member States to facilitate Intra-Regional Migration and Labour Mobility for Regional Integration and Economic Cooperation”. In her statement as Chair of the opening ceremony, Treasure Thembisile Maphanga, Director of Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission (AUC), recalled the vision of the Abuja Treaty of an African Economic Community with free movement of persons, goods, services and capital. She highlighted a number of policy initiatives on Migration and Labour Mobility that have been adopted by the AUC, including the Migration Policy Framework for Africa; Minimum Integration Programme and Action Plan for Boosting intra African Trade (BIAT). The launching of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by June 2015 is a great opportunity for the continent in the sense of the revitalization of Labour mobility.
    Speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission, Dr. Khabele Matlosa, AUC Director of Political Affairs underscored the fact that historically, Africa is a region of migrants. Indeed, “the development and regional integration story of Africa is essentially the story of internal (intra-state) and external (inter-state) migration patterns”, he said. However, for migration to be a catalyst of regional integration and economic cooperation in Africa, “it is imperative that the African Union develops a Protocol on free Movement of persons, the Right of Residence and the Right of establishment as provided for in Article 43 of the 1991 Abuja Treaty”, he concluded.
    H.E. Ambassador Sammie Pesky Eddico, Chairman of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) Council and Ghana Permanent representative to the UN in Geneva pointed out that migration forms an integral part of the economic development process in Africa. The experiences of ECOWAS and EAC economic communities testify that free movement of persons and goods have positive effects on economic development, and called on Member States to ratify existing regional instruments on free movement. He underscored the need for the AU Assembly to encourage member states that are yet to ratify the existing protocols on free movement of persons to do within a specific timeline. He also proposed that the ratification of protocols on free movement of persons be considered with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Regional Director for Africa, represented by Mr. Alexio Musindo, ILO Director Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda focused on Labour Migration as a core component of the ILO’s mandate for social justice. Accordingly, this meeting provides an excellent opportunity for Africa to address key labour migration issues including promoting regional social dialogue on labour migration, strengthening institutional capacity to improve labour migration governance as well as the portability of social security benefits. He reiterated his commitment to continue to champion the exemplary AUC/ILO/IOM/ECA Joint Labour Migration Programme. He took also the opportunity to urge African states on Member states to ratify ILO conventions N0 97 and 143 on the protection of migrant workers and the governance of labour migration.
    In the same view, the Director General of IOM, Amb. William Lacy Swing, emphasised on the necessity for this roundtable to demystify the “myth” or “fear factor” about facilitating free movement of people within the continent. It is in that regard that he proposed the Paradigm of the 3Ps in order to protect, promote and prioritize migration and mobility as powerful drivers of sustainable development in Africa. “But above all, you have a fundamental role in promoting human rights of migrants and the fact that the respect of rights needs to take a central stage, both as end and as condition, for harnessing the benefits of migration for the development of migrants and societies.”, he recalled to the participants.
    The representative of the EU delegation to Rwanda, H.E Ambassador Michael Ryan, welcomed the adoption of the Joint Labour Migration Programme and underscored the willingness of EU to assist Africa for a better governance framework on migration.
    Mr Silvio Fluckiger, Deputy regional Director of Swiss Cooperation declared that meeting should be a turning point in changing perceptions on migration issues. Indeed, “Migrants cannot simply be viewed as economic commodities to address labour market gaps or demographic needs. Migration is about both, economic and human development.”, He noticed.
    Officially opening the ceremony, Hon Venantia Tugireyezu, Minister in the Office of the President of Rwanda, underlined the urgency to fast track different projects facilitating regional integration. The meeting represents therefore an opportunity to identify mechanisms in order to address different challenges in this regard.
    The opening ceremony ended with a presentation of the Labour Migration Governance for Development and Integration in Africa Initiative (commonly referred to as the Joint Labour Migration Programme) by Mrs Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, UN CO-Chair of the Employment and Labour Cluster. The Joint Labour Migration Programme aims to strengthen effective governance and regulation of labour migration and mobility in Africa under the rule of law with involvement of stakeholders; including the employers of labour, organisation of workers and migrants. She emphasised that the JLMP constitutes a major contribution to obtaining the development potential of labour and skills mobility in Africa for migrants as well as receiving and sending countries
    It is worth recalling that this meeting is a joint initiative of the AUC/ILO/IOM/ECA. The main objective is to improve the awareness and understanding of the benefits that migration and labour mobility bring to countries of origin, transit and destination as well as migrants themselves.
    For more information, please contact:
    - Philip Bob JUSU |Migration Officer| Department of Social Affairs| Tel: +251115182216 /+250783810727 E-mail:
    - Jerry Laurence Lemogo| Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission | Tel: +251929188440 | E-mail:
    - Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Chief of regional Programming Unit, International Labour Organisation, Email:, Tel: +251115445545
    - Guebray Berhane, Senior Communications Officer, ILO Regional Office Email:
    - Josiah OGINA, Chief of Mission-Ethiopia and Representative to AU/ECA/IGAD, Email:, Tel: +251116611133


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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