Africa And Aboriginal Tuesdays: Vision and Mission Of African Union

The Commission of the African Union can now focus on three vital documents to discharge the mandate entrusted to it: the first of the three documents deals with the Vision of the African Union and the Mission of the African Union Commission; the second concerns the 2004-2007 Strategic Framework of the African Union Commission, while the third document contains the Action Plans of the various Departments of the Commission. The three documents are intended to structure a programme for the period 2004-2007 which the Commission will submit to the Policy Organs of the Organization in July 2004.

It is important to note that the Vision, Mission and Strategic Framework of the Commission are the outcome of a collective brainstorming and decision-making exercises. The series of brainstorming seminars that took place in Addis Ababa during the months of October, November and December 2003, brought together staff members of the Headquarters of the Commission and those of the Regional Offices, African resource persons and heads of key institutions to debate what are the ambitions, requisite means and resources, commitments and expected outputs of the Commission. In the end, the sessions synergized intellectuals, politicians, civil society and public sector representatives, as well as the African Ambassadors and development partners based in the Ethiopian capital. Underlying the brainstorming and decision-making exercises was the need for citizens’ ownership of African integration by those who have a catalytic role to play in its materialization.

On this score, we cannot but express delight at the fact that the Africa so much desired by the Founders of the African Union is an Africa conscious of its potential and determined to exploit it, particularly by pooling resources; an Africa critical of its own weaknesses and geared to actively participate in global trade; an Africa which cannot afford to wait until tomorrow to have its problems resolved; and an Africa determined to offer to its peoples, basic goods and services at affordable prices.

But how do we attain these objectives? The Strategic Framework of the Commission constitutes the necessary road map. The requisite conditions needed for Africa to become a force to be reckoned with, a force we can rely upon, include among other things, the political will on the part of Member States to achieve integration; the firm commitment of the Commission; the total involvement of the people in the integration endeavour; and the optimal use of all our assets - namely the immense human and natural resources, the diversity and vitality of our cultures, our languages, our sense of solidarity and our readiness to dialogue, etc.
We shall overcome this challenge through a determined effort to map out and implement a strategy for what is possible and achievable. To this end, we will all have to invest our best efforts; first and foremost, our States, because their resolute commitment to build the African Union structure is the prerequisite for success; then, we have the people of Africa, since there can be no integration except one that is desired and driven by the people; and lastly, we have the Organs of the Union which can contribute a great deal to speeding up transformation of the Continent if they are endowed with fresh, commensurate and sustainable resources managed in accordance with business enterprise norms. To this end, the Organs of the Union will have to develop their own performance indicators and commit themselves to producing the right results within established deadlines.

The Commission, for its part, is resolved to fully discharge the role expected of it and to promote within it the values of integrity, transparency, good governance and mutual respect, women’s development as well as the values of solidarity and unalloyed commitment to the cause of the African Unity.

Alpha Oumar Konaré
Chairperson of the Commission
For the Commission of the African Union

Tuesday, July 6, 2004