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The AU Commission

The African Union Commission (AUC) is the AU’s secretariat and undertakes the day to day activities of the Union. It is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Its functions, include:

  • Representing the AU and defending its interests under the guidance of and as mandated by the Assembly and the Executive Council
  • Initiating proposals to be submitted to the AU’s organs as well as implementing decisions taken by them
  • Acting as the custodian of the AU Constitutive Act and all other OAU/AU legal instruments
  • Liaising closely with the AU organs to guide, support and monitor the AU’s performance to ensure conformity and harmony with agreed policies, strategies, programmes and projects
  • Providing operational support for all AU organs
  • Assisting Member States in implementing the AU’s programmes
  • Drafting AU common positions and coordinating Member States’ actions in international negotiations
  • Managing the AU budget and resources
  • Elaborating, promoting, coordinating and harmonising the AU’s programmes and policies with those of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
  • Ensuring gender mainstreaming in all AU programmes and activities
  • Taking action, as delegated by the Assembly and Executive Council.

Structure

The Commission is composed of a chairperson, deputy chairperson and eight commissioners, plus staff. The Assembly elects the AUC Chairperson and AUC Deputy Chairperson. The Executive Council elects the eight AUC Commissioners, who are appointed by the Assembly. Commission members’ terms are for four years, renewable once. Elections and terms are governed by the AU Assembly Rules of Procedure the Executive Council Rules of Procedure and the Commission Statutes

AUC Chairperson

The Chairperson of the Commission is the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Chief Accounting Officer. He or she is directly responsible to the Executive Council for the discharge of his or her duties. The Chairperson of the AUC is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once. Election is by secret ballot and a two-thirds majority of Member States eligible to vote. The current AUC Chairperson is Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat from The Republic of Chad. Visit AUC Chairperson to find out more about the structure and function of the Office of the Chairperson of the AUC

AUC Deputy Chairperson

The Deputy Chairperson assists the Chairperson in the execution of his or her functions for the smooth running of the Commission and is in charge of administration and finance. The Deputy acts as the Chairperson in his or her absence. The Deputy Chairperson is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once. Election is by secret ballot and a two-thirds majority of Member States eligible to vote. The Deputy must not be from the same region as the Chairperson of the Commission. The current AUC Deputy Chairperson is Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey from The Republic of Ghana. Visit AUC Deputy Chairperson to find out more about the structure and function of the Office of the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC

AUC Commissioners

The Eight commissioners of the are elected by the AU Executive Council and appointed by the Assembly for four-year terms,4 renewable once. The regions from which the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are appointed are entitled to one commissioner each. All other regions are entitled to two commissioners. The Commission Statutes, article 6, include that at least one commissioner from each region shall be a woman, and the usual practice is equal gender representation. Voting for each portfolio is by a series of ballots if required and a two-thirds majority. Appointments are declared during the Assembly Summit following the Executive Council elections. The Executive Council Rules of Procedure set out the nomination and selection process for commissioners

The Commissioners support the Chairperson in running the Commission and have the responsibility to implement all decisions, policies and programmes relating to their portfolios.

The eight portfolios held by the commissioners and the respective commissioners are:

Learn more about the AUC areas of activity