Specialised Technical Committees

Specialised Technical Committees are committees of Ministers or senior officials responsible for sectors that fall within their area of competence. Committees meet annually or biennially, depending on their mandate. They report to the Executive Council, however the AU Assembly may take action to create new Committees or revise the mandates of existing committees. As of November 2016, the Committees currently in operation are:

  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’s 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. Defense, safety and security

In general, the Committees are responsible for (Constitutive Act of the African Union, Article 15):

  • Preparing projects and programmes of the Union and submit it to the Executive Council
  • Ensuring the supervision, follow-up and the evaluation of the implementation of decisions taken by the organs of the Union
  • Ensuring the coordination and harmonization of projects and programmes of the Union
  • Submitting 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 this Act
  • Carrying out any other functions assigned to it for the purpose of ensuring the implementation of the provisions of this Act

How does it help tackle violence against women?

Committee on Gender and Women’s Empowerment

All Specialised Technical Committees of the AU may consider issues related to gender equality and women’s rights, however the AU Assembly created the Committee on Gender and Women’s Empowerment to give a particular focus to these themes. The Committee meets once a year with the possibility of additional sessions when necessary. Given the Committee’s thematic area of focus, action to tackle gender-based violence falls within the scope of its mandate.

The Committee on Gender and Women’s Empowerment held its first meeting in November 2015. During the meeting, some of the topics the Committee considered included:

  • The approval of projects under Fund for African Women (FAW)
  • The Mid-Term Report of African Women’s Decade 2010-2014
  • Consider and adopt the report of mid-term review of the African Women Decade (AWD), the Plan of Action on the Implementation of the Declaration of the AU Heads of State and Government on the AU Theme for 2015”Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development Towards Africa Agenda 2063” and Johannesburg Call for Action
  • Updating the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa and the African Protocol on Women’s Rights (“Maputo Protocol”)

During the 8th Gender Pre-Summit Consultation, the Committee continued its work that began in 2015 – joined by other AU organs, UN officials, civil society organisations and other experts.