Language Switcher

The Specialized Technical Committees

Article 14 of the AU Constitutive Act provides for the establishment of Specialised Technical Committees (STCs) across a range of thematic areas. Under article 14, the STCs are responsible to the Executive Council. STCs are organs of the AU in accordance with article 5 of the AU Constitutive Act.

The process of operationalising the STCs has been ongoing and, as of 1 September 2014, the functions of some STCs were being carried out by various sectorial ministerial conferences.

In June 2014, the Assembly requested the Commission, in collaboration with the bureaus of various sectoral ministerial conferences, to pursue and finalise the process of operationalising the remaining STCs by December 2014, after which all sectoral ministerial conferences were to be abolished. The purpose of the STCs is to work in close collaboration with Commission departments to ensure the harmonisation of AU projects and programmes as well as coordination with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). Article 15 of the Constitutive Act provides that each committee shall, within its field of competence:

  • Prepare AU projects and programmes and submit them to the Executive Council
  • Ensure the supervision, follow up and evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by AU organs
  • Ensure the coordination and harmonisation of AU projects and programmes
  • Submit to the Executive Council, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Executive Council, reports and recommendations on the implementation of the provisions of the Constitutive Act
  • Carry out any other functions assigned to it for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of the Constitutive Act.

    Each STC will develop Rules of Procedure to define its detailed activities and functions and submit these to the Executive Council for approval.

evolution

STCs were created under the 1991 Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (Abuja Treaty), article 25. These were carried over from the OAU to the AU by the Constitutive Act, articles 5 and 14 to 16, under the name Specialised Technical Committees. The STCs were not operationalised under the OAU and their functions were carried out by sectorial ministerial conferences.

The Constitutive Act initially provided for seven STCs. At its February 2009 summit meeting, the Assembly enlarged this number to 14 to make their structure and thematic focus consistent with AU Commission portfolios (see Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.227 (XII) adopted in February 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

structure

Each STC is composed of Member States’ ministers and senior officials responsible for sectors falling within their respective areas of competence. In its February 2009 decision, the Assembly reconfigured the STCs into the following Committees on:

  1. Agriculture, rural development, water and environment
  2. Finance, monetary affairs, economic planning and integration
  3. Trade, industry and minerals
  4. Transport, infrastructure, energy and tourism
  5. Gender and women empowerment
  6. Justice and legal affairs
  7. Social development, labour and employment
  8. Public service, local government, urban development and decentralisation
  9. Health, population and drug control
  10. Migration, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)
  11. Youth, culture and sports
  12. Education, science and technology
  13. Communication and information communications technology (ICT)
  14. Defence, safety and security.

meetings

In June 2011, the Assembly decided that the STCs should meet at ministerial and expert level every two years (Assembly/AU/Dec.365(XVII)). Exceptions were made for three STCs to meet once a year, the committees on: Gender and women empowerment; Finance, monetary affairs, economic planning and integration; and Defence, safety and security.

note

Previous sectorial ministerial conferences are listed as follows. Reports from these conferences, and Executive Council decisions on these reports, can be found on the AU website, under the ‘Executive Council’ tab and ‘decisions and declarations of the Executive Council’ (www.au.int/en/decisions/council).

  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Agriculture and Trade Conference of Ministers Responsible for Animal Resources
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Aviation Safety Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Border Issues
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Communication and Information Technologies
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Culture
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Drug Control Conference of Ministers Responsible for Economy and Finance
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Education (COMEDAF)
  • Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA)
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for the Environment
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Health
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Hydrocarbons (Oil and Gas)
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Industry
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Integration
  • Conference of Ministers of Justice and/or Attorneys General
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Maritime Transport Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology (AMCOMET)
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources
  • Conference of the Ministers Responsible for Registration and Vital Statistics
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Road Transport
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Science and Technology (AMCOST)
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Social Development
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Sport
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Trade
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water
  • Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth