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The AU Commission Strategic Plan 2014-2017

Preface I am pleased to present the African Union Commission Strategic Plan 2014-2017.The Plan constitutes the framework that outlines the overall priorities of the Commission for the four year period, and provides guidance for program formulation and prioritization. It provides space for AUC to play its facilitating role, especially, with respect to policy and strategy setting, coordination and catalyzing Africa’s socio-economic and integration agenda, consensus building and advocacy, experience and information sharing. It seeks to establish the basis for creating the continental public goods and the enabling conditions necessary for peace, security, political stability and growth. The AU is in the process of developing a 50 year African Agenda and Union-wide Strategic Framework in order to provide greater coherence in the actions and initiatives of the African Union, its organs and those of key stakeholders and partners (RECs, NPCA, Member States, civil society and private sector, etc). The Union-wide plan, in addition to creating better synergies and collaboration, is expected to enhance impacts on the ground. The Commission’s strategic plan will be adjusted to take account of the directions charted by the Union-wide plan once it is approved by the AU Policy Organs. This Strategic Plan comes at a seminal point in the history of the African Continent. The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 1963, while 2012 marked the first decade of the establishment of the African Union (AU) as the successor to the OAU, as well as the setting up of the African Union Commission. Over this period the world and Africa have witnessed momentous developments. Africa is making steady and rapid progress in economic growth, social development and democratization, development of human capital and fostering peace and stability. Many of the gains made have elements of sustainability, and capacities and capabilities are required to reinforce the path to progress and self-reliance. In spite of the many challenges, there are notable improvements in the economic and political governance systems on the continent, and there are opportunities for Africa to make the robust growth African economies realized in recent years, more inclusive and jobs-oriented, especially for Women and Youth, and to have greater impact on poverty elimination. The continental integration process is being fast-tracked with the aim of putting in place a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017, but we realize the need to boost intra-African trade and turn it into opportunities for growth, employment and development Conflicts have diminished substantially and peace, security and security are on the upswing, although persistent fragility and new security threats, including the drugs trade, terrorism and tensions over borders remain a major concern. Broad gains are been made on the democratic front, with an increasing number of elections that are free and fair. The continent has registered significant advances in primary education, as well as with respect to women’s political representation. The challenge that remains is to achieve economic empowerment and boost tertiary education, science, technology and innovation. Capacities are needed for Africa to turn its challenges into opportunities for broad economic development through implementation of policies on product and export diversification; natural resource management; investments in human capital development, science, technology and innovation; and infrastructure development. The work of the Commission is driven by the belief that the African dream of an integrated continent offering secure, decent livelihoods and the free movement of people, goods and services is not only achievable but can be done in a shorter timeframe. Thus there is a new sense of urgency on the need to accelerate concrete actions to realize the African Union vision. Our overall goal is to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Over the four years of the Strategic Plan period, the Commission will seek to accelerate progress towards a stable, peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa within a good governance environment, while paying particular attention to women, youth and other marginalized and vulnerable groups. The Commission will work to build a People-centered Union through active communication of the programs of the African Union, the branding of the Union and participation of all stakeholders, including those in the Diaspora, in defining and implementing the African agenda. Priority will also be given to the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the AUC, and enhancing relations with the RECs and other organs, and with strategic and other partners. As a Commission we are therefore focused on addressing eight key priorities which this strategic plan has translated into concrete and annualized targets in the following key areas that impact directly on the welfare, lives and livelihoods of Africans in all works of life: 1. Human capacity development focussing on health, education, science, research, technology and innovation; 2. Agriculture and agro processing; 3. Inclusive economic development through industrialisation, infrastructure development, agriculture and trade and investment; 4. Peace, stability and good governance; 5. Mainstreaming women and youth into all our activities; 6. Resource mobilisation; 7. Building a people-centred Union through active communication and branding; and 8. Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Union and all its organs. This strategic plan represents a turning point in the way the Commission plans, budgets, implements and monitors its work. The plan is fully results-based and focused on delivering concrete and clearly measurable targets, and the annualized targets represent the deliverables the Commission is accountable for on a yearly basis. By adopting this approach, we are further consolidating the shift to a results-based / performance management culture. . All of the above are supported by a robust implementation arrangement and Monitoring and Evaluation framework. We therefore should use the opportunity of this new Strategic Plan to focus dialogue between the Commission and the AU Policy Organs on deliverables rather than activities. The targets set put emphasis on implementation of existing frameworks, policies, and legal instruments in order to attain the strategic plan goal and the Commission’s commitment of facilitating the accelerated attainment of the AU Vision The plan also provides clarity of roles and responsibilities, not only internally between AUC departments but also with respect to external actors (other AU Organs, NPCA, RECs, Member States, and cooperating partners).As with any plan, the right set of conditions must be in place to guarantee success. We have highlighted a set of enablers that all must work together to put in place: AU organs, Member States, national institutions and organizations, the Commission, partners, etc. We shall deploy special efforts, starting with popularizing the plan, to increase the visibility of our work to African citizens and we count on Member States to help in this process. Finally, I note with satisfaction the excellent teamwork and the high degree of participation that has characterized the strategic plan development process. The plan is truly the fruit of a collaborative effort and the hard work of many contributors; AU organs, RECs, Commission’s technical departments, etc. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude for their efforts and inputs. I would like to single out in particular the Member States through the Permanent Representatives Committee and the Executive Council for the role they have played. Our engagement with them has enriched the strategic plan and made it more focused, responsive, realistic and achievable than it would otherwise have been. You have our deepest appreciation. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Chairperson