African Union (AU)


At the centre: Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (second from left), former African Union Commission Chairperson, and Ban Ki-moon (second from right), former United Nations Secretary-General, along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (left), and President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger (right), talk to the media in Niamey. Photo: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) maintains a multifaceted partnership with the African Union External link.

Raising Awareness

OSAA organizes an annual event to raise awareness of, and to engage the global community and the United Nations System on, emerging African issues in partnership with the AU through:

Programme of the Africa Week 2014

This annual event is held during “Africa Week”, every year in October, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly Debate on the Development of Africa.

During the same period, along with the AU and the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), OSAA convenes the “RECs Briefing” to United Nations Member States in order to raise global awareness on the role and contributions of the RECs to Africa’s peace, security, governance, and socio-economic development.

Cooperation UN-AU

"...And so, as Gabre-Medhin unforgettably wrote, let us unite to give the best we have to Africa, the cradle of humankind. Let us make Africa the Tree of Life. As long as I am Secretary-General, I will spare no effort to help make it so."

-- Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, 29 January 2007

Furthermore, in order to promote collaboration of the United Nations and the AU on peace and security, OSAA actively participates in the UN-AU consultative meeting on the prevention and management of conflict (Desk-to-Desk).

Additionally, the Office is strongly engaged in strengthening the UN-AU partnership by contributing to the review process of the successor programme of the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme for the African Union as a leading member of the Technical Working Group (TWG).

The Office also works closely with the Office of the Special Envoy of AU Commission Chairperson on Women, Peace and Security to advance the work of the AU and RECs on women, peace and security.

OSAA’s Activities

By leveraging its wide range of regional and global partnerships, OSAA contributes to:

  • Building complementarity,
  • Ensuring coherence, and
  • Promoting synergies,

between the global agenda, such as the emerging post-2015 development agenda and African regional initiatives such as AU Agenda 2063. In doing so, OSAA:

  • Fosters the mutual reinforcement of the continent’s strategic development vision and the global development framework, and
  • Ensures adequate means of implementation and technology transfer for the achievement of both agendas.

In order to provide policy recommendations to policy makers and practitioners working for Africa’s peace security and development, OSAA co-publishes various reports on peace, security and development on Africa, in close collaboration with, among others:

OSAA also organizes diverse expert group meetings on timely topics on African issues in order to:

  • Raise global awareness, and
  • Generate practical policy and programme recommendations for action by other entities and experts.

About the AU

Logo of the Africa Union
  • Established on 26 May 2001
  • 54 Member States (in 2015)
  • Vision: “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”
  • Emblem:
    African Union Emblem
  • Flag:
    African Union Flag
  • Constitutive Act PDF
  • African Union Handbook 2015 PDF

More about the African Union External link >>

AUC Chairpersons

  • Current Chairperson:
    Chairperson of the AU Commission H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat (Chad)
    , as of 30 January 2017
  • H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (South Africa): 2012 - 2017
  • H.E. Dr. Jean Ping (Gabon): 2008 - 2012
  • H.E. Mr. Alpha Oumar Konaré (Mali): 2003 - 2008
  • H.E. Mr. Amara Essy (Côte d'Ivoire): 2001 - 2003