Committees

Click the links below to see the ALAMAU 2018 Committees

About the Science and Technology Committee 

The African Commission on Science and Technology is a committee that focuses on promoting science and technology in the African continent by supporting members states of the AU in the implementation of policies and programmes in this field. This committee aims to promote scientific research and publication, create opportunities job and higher education opportunities for Youth in the Science and technology field, and implement innovative advancements in these fields.

Topic: Fostering Technological Innovation to Bolster Socio-Economic Development

Despite having a young and enterprising population, Africa has failed to tap into the technological revolution. With a contribution of only around 1.1% of the world’s scientific and technological knowledge, the African continent still has plenty of work to do to become part of the world’s most competitive economies. Poor educational systems, unsupportive policies and the lack of funding are some contributing factors to Africa’s experience of lagging behind in terms of technological development.

While it is clear that the continent is struggling when it comes to technological progress, many African countries such as Kenya and South Africa have shown massive potential in this field. With a high mobile penetration, a young population and a fertile market, Africa has many of the criteria to become the next technological power.

The reason technological innovation is necessary is because it could help the continent develop many sectors including education, health, finance and politics. Issues such as school dropout, accessibility to healthcare in remote areas and electoral fraud could easily be solved in the long-term by using technological means. Therefore, in this ever-changing period, it is essential to consider technological innovation as the platform to solve Africa’s socio-economic issues and create a long-lasting and sustainable impact for the future.

About the African Development Bank (AfDB)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a committee of the African Union concerned with social and economic development of African States within the continental organization. Its mission is to help reduce poverty, improve living conditions, and mobilize resources for the continent’s economic and social growth. All countries in Africa with the exception of the Saharawi Democratic Republic are members of the AfDB.

AfDB is best suited to address the topic on fostering financial independence in Africa as it aligns with its mission of mobilizing resources and finding self-sustainability. Most importantly, AfDB’s role of improving social and economic development is best achieved by a sustainable financial system, an independent African Union financial blueprint and increased body effectivity, which are all best addressed by the topic ‘promoting African Union’s effectivity by fostering its financial independence.

Topic: Promoting the AU’s Effectivity by Fostering Its Financial Independence 

Financial Independence of the African Union has been a front-line topic of the body since the Rwanda 2015 AU Summit. Since 2010, AU’s financial resources have significantly reduced due to internal political challenges in Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Libya, countries that were among the greatest financial contributors to the AU. This reduction resulted in the overdependence on foreign funding with more than 80% of the AU’s budgetary funds coming from the European Union, World Bank and China at the moment. Unfortunately, this overdependence has caused a worrying trend, as the funds generally come with a blueprint that limits and confines AU actions, with the funds to projects only supported or recommended by these foreign fund sources.

One area strongly affected by these financial strings has been the AU’s quest in promoting peace in the continent. The blueprint limits funds for peace and security and this has made it impossible for the AU to contribute to stopping civil wars in countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Moreover, this foreign blueprint has created an emphasis on infrastructure development while limiting the AU’s input in the food and security crisis in the continent. Indeed, major projects and focus areas of the AU – peace, security, and food security among others – have been jeopardized by these blueprints. Both the former chair of the AU, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame have championed this quest for increased effectivity of the AU through fostering financial independence.

As proposed by Paul Kagame early this year, one of the ways to achieve this financial independence and the resultant effectivity is levying a 0.2% tax on African imports which would provide a lukewarm financial source. Alternatively or as a supplement, additional tax on hotels, flights and text messages would be a perfect revenue source in trying to attain this goal. Apart from taxes, some member states have already suggested individual country contribution to make up at least 40.2% of the AU’s budget. However, this last option comes with its drawbacks: African countries suffer from endemic poverty and crippled economies thus, while a possible option, it will be a hard fete to achieve for an annual budget at about $700 million dollars.

Complexities around this topic include finding viable financial resources and addressing any drawbacks of any new revenue sources. Most importantly, creation of an independent financial blueprint for AU’s internal finances will be a key component of success of the committee. Therefore, debates will be focused on identification of revenue sources and setting up priorities for these finances which will hopefully replace the dictated foreign fund blueprints.

As we lay the foundations for a sustainable future, finance remains a key pillar in supporting all AU systems. If the AU is ever to have its own objective plan then this self-sufficiency rather than ‘dictated foreign funds’ will be a huge factor to actualization of continentally championed projects, ideas or systems. This topic matters as independence has been a huge struggle for Africa and if this reliability jeopardizes our voice and self-championed projects then this financial self-sufficiency should be addressed. Moreover, this topic covers sustainability as it aims to create a system that will catapult African prosperity for years.

About the African Energy Commission 

The African Energy Commission is a continental African structure with the objective of providing leadership in the development of the Africa’s energy resources. It also aims to enhance energy security, generate rapid economic and social growth, protect the environment, eradicate poverty and improve the standard and quality of life of the African populations in sustainable ways.

 

Topic: Advancing the Energy Sector Through Resource-Processing Development 

Africa is rich in energy resources but poor in its capability to exploit and use these resources. Many African countries face an energy crisis. Power is inaccessible, unaffordable and unreliable, trapping people in poverty. In spite of substantial investment, the power sector in Africa is characterized by unreliability of supply, low capacity utilization and availability factor, deficient maintenance, poor procurement of spare parts and high transmission and distribution losses. This inefficiency in harnessing the energy potential has resulted in the low level of economic development of countries in Africa.

Africa’s energy sector is vital to its development and yet is one of the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system. This creates a debate, as resource processing demands a huge amount of investment to advance the energy sector. Furthermore, the involvement of countries like China in infrastructure development further increases the debt of African countries to developed nations and negatively impacts their economy.

This committee is striving to implement sustainable solutions to ensure the effective utilization and generation of power across the African continent. The significant investment in energy infrastructure; technology transfers; improvement of access to electricity on a large scale; the boosting of cross-border power trade; the improvement of the performance of existing utility companies; and the assistance to countries to chart low-carbon growth paths are few of the key solutions to leverage our energy resources and leverage them to the best of our proficiency.

Understanding where the opportunities for tapping this wealth exist and where shortages occur is fundamental to developing these solutions.  In creating a foundation for sustainable future, stakeholders in energy resources, the impact and demands of resource-processing development on the African economic, political and social structure should be well considered and negotiated. Furthermore, a strong collaboration in policy making and implementation within the African union and NGOs is required so as to execute sustainable solutions to Africans by Africans

About the Executive Council

The Executive Council of the African Union (AU), formed in 2002, is one of the central organs of the AU composed of authorities accredited by the governments of member states; essentially ministers of Foreign Affairs or other such ministers.  The Council is responsible to the General Assembly, which is comprised of heads of states.

The Executive Council is responsible for coordinating and harmonizing policies, activities and initiatives of the Union in the areas of common interest to Member States, monitoring the implementations of policies, decisions and agreements adopted by the Assembly. The council also has seven Specialized Technical Committees under it to fulfill the mandates of the Executive council given to it by the Assembly. Articles 11 to 16 of the AU Constitutive Act states the mandate of the Council and its committees.

The Executive Council determines issues to be submitted to the Assembly for discussion and decision. Peace and Security is a very important part of building a better future for the continent. One of the basic foundations to building a sustainable future for our continent is by structuring a system to prevent conflicts among our people. This is a key topic for all the heads of states of Africa to discuss about and to find solutions as a whole. Therefore, in the Executive council at ALAMAU 2018, we will discuss this fundamental issue and propose profound solutions to be discussed and decided upon by the General Assembly, to ensure that our people live together by tolerating diversity and difference.

Topic: Bolstering Conflict Prevention Mechanisms to Tackle Legacies of Sectarian Violence 

Sectarianism is a form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group. Common examples are denominations of a religion, ethnic identity, class, or region for citizens of a state and factions of a political movement.  Sectarian violence is, therefore, the violent actions of an individual or a group towards another as a result of sectarianism.

Sectarianism and sectarian violence are both common phenomenon in the African continent. Various political, social and economic factors have and are causing conflicts between people with ideological differences as well as difference in identity here in Africa. Africa has a religiously, culturally, traditionally and ideologically diversified community. However, the Rwandan Genocide, the recent religious violence in Egypt and Central African Republic and the ethnic conflict in Ethiopia can be good examples of the said sectarian violence within this large, diversified community. Therefore, Africa needs a sustainable method to prevent the growing number of sectarian violence in order to achieve its development goals as per Agenda 2063.

In this regard, the enactment of an Anti-discrimination law in the respective African countries can be a solution that could contribute to solving this issue. These laws will be enacted to ban religious discrimination in public and private institutions, expediting the legal procedures in cases of discrimination and addresses them by correction and compensation. Nevertheless, with the private sectors, in countries with free market system, such laws can cause their own political and social turmoil.

On national and institutional level, we will be asking: what should the African nations and the AU do to prevent such issues of sectarian violence? What is the current approach of concerned nations and other international organization including AU, in the process of healing previous victims of sectarian violence? What should be done by the African countries to minimize the effects of external forces which in some cases have affiliations with the violent actions taking place in the continent. Under the Executive council, we will try to address these serious continental questions to lay sustainable foundations for Africa’s future.

About the New Partnership for Africa’s Development

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is the technical arm of the African Union. It was officially adopted in 2002 by the African Union to coordinate the pace and impact of Africa’s development in the 21st century. NEPAD’s primary objective is to provide a new mechanism that is spearheaded by African leaders in order to eradicate poverty, and place African countries on the path towards sustainable growth and development as individual nations and as a collective. The organization also aims to halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process, accelerate the empowerment of women and to fully integrate Africa into the global economy.

At ALAMAU 2018, NEPAD will be represented by the 20 members of its Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, focusing on strategies to improve existing gender policies in order to empower women in the workplace for a stronger economy and a more sustainable future.

Topic: Strengthening Gender Policies for Employment Equality in Africa

Gender equality is achieved when men and women enjoy the same rights in society and various economic sectors. Despite some initiatives taken by the African Union such as the Fund for African Women or the African Women’s Decade, the gender disparities remain stark, especially in light of economic activity. The restricted labor markets reduce women’s rights and access to credit, ownership, and employment in general. These major challenges faced by African women prevent them from achieving their socio-economic potential, creating the largest gender income gap in the world, with women annually earning 65.1% less than men in 2013.

Working towards a sustainable future evidently involves improving women’s conditions and mainstreaming gender equality in employment policy areas. On the continent, efforts should be made to improve women’s access to credit and other resources such as land and capital. A study from Tanzania on smallholder coffee cultivators proved that efforts to lessen gender constraints in the household resulted in increases in the household income by 10 per cent, labor productivity by 15 percent, and capital productivity by 44 per cent among. In addition, the establishment of public institutions that guarantee the protection of women against discrimination in their workplace can help in incorporating the principle of equality.

At ALAMAU 2018, the NEPAD committee will be considering ways of improving the existing gender policies in order to empower women in the workplace for a stronger economy and a more sustainable future.

 

About the Pan-African Parliament

The Pan African Parliament is one of the 9 organs establishing the African Economic Community. It functions as a platform for citizens of the continent to play an active role in the African economy and development. It is a vehicle for the voices of the African citizen to be delivered to the leaders of a country to devise solutions tailored to the nation’s needs. It is located in Midrand, South Africa, near the economic hub of the country.

Topic: Enhancing Internal Responsibility Structures within Government to Improve Transparency 

The enhancement of internal structures within government to refine policies of transparency would prevent citizens from getting to the point of protesting for their voices to be heard. On many occasions, governmental institutions miss the opportunity to review whether they are in accordance with the needs of citizens. To solve this, it would take an internal evaluation system that allows heads of states to evaluate their leadership. The duty of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is to “…focus on diagnosing problems and improving governance in the political, economic, corporate and developmental spheres. Member states review their own performance and invite independent African experts.” [1] However, there are currently only 5 member states and the APRM has not expressed their purpose and successes effectively. The lack of such institutions does not provide a foundation strong enough to uphold the transformation of the African continent as we know it.
Having a peer-to-peer feedback structure within government gives the citizens of the nation an internal view of what is going on in the government, as the heads of the state will answer to someone other than themselves. This would improve transparency as the discussions would be held like that of the AU and public would be afforded the chance to listen in.
At ALAMAU 2018, this committee needs to ask who exactly would be part of the feedback sessions? How would the feedback be facilitated? How can we develop a sustaniable system that is difficult to alter to the benefit of ill agendas?

About the Peace and Security Council 

The Peace and Security Council is the organ of the African Union responsible for promoting and ensuring peace across the continent. The PSC was designed to have a preventative approach to diplomacy, conduct peace building operations and in certain instances, recommend military interventions to ensure the promotion of peace, security and protection of human rights.

The PSC is the organ of the African Union that is responsible for defining and framing doctrines like the responsibility to protect (R2P) and the protection of citizens (PoC), as well as to overlook the operations that these doctrines entail.

At ALAMAU 2018, the Peace and Security Council will be composed of 15 member states focusing on revising the responsibility to protect.

Topic: Revising the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine to Expand its Potential in African Conflict Settings 

In 1994, approximately 800.000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were slaughtered in the Rwandan Genocide. The international community merely turned a blind eye on the matter. This silence was considered one the major failures of the international community. In response to such a failure, the African Union embraced the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. African nations therefore had a moral responsibility to protect human rights.

In cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the AU and its member states had a legitimate mandate to intervene in internal conflicts in order to uphold human rights. And while in theory the R2P seems like a just way to help protect shared values, its practice often turns into “military adventurism”  when neighboring nations abuse their responsibility to protect in a given African conflict. This can be seen in the case of the Force Multinationale de l’Afrique Centrale (FOMAC) in dealing with the rebel groups of the Central African Republic. Atrocity prevention therefore more-or-less became a channel for military interventions and abuse of power. Until now, the operations conducted by the PSC have also been far more reactive than preventative for a number of reasons, including financial constraints as well as inability to reach consensus.

The Peace and Security Council will work on revising the R2P doctrine in order to prevent its abuses and ensure proper channels of financing it. We will ensure that the doctrine has clear guidelines and limitations. It is important that the doctrine becomes more preventative than reactive so that it goes beyond taking military action. This can be achieved by analyzing a timely flow of information to predict war crimes further in advance.

About the Press Corps

At ALAMAU, the Press Corps is the group of journalists, representing various news agencies, which is responsible for informing the ALAMAU community of the happenings of the conference. These will range from reporting on the debates and resolutions passed during committee sessions to the events of the conference. The Press Corps will also be responsible for conducting press conferences, and conducting interviews with members of the ALAMAU community, this includes the organizing team, delegates, advisors and guests.

Each delegate will be assigned to a news agency to simulate before the conference. Each agency will be reporting from a unique committee. Delegates are expected to produce comprehensive reports from their respective committees and they are also free to produce reports from other committees while still reporting on their assigned committee.

About the Social Affairs and Health Committee

The Social Affairs and Health committee was established under article 11 of The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) as a cluster committee. Along with 9 other committees, it plays the role of a “key operational mechanisms to formulate opinions and provide input into AU policies and programmes”. The committee therefore deals with issues as vast as health, children, drug control and population to family, youth and social integration, among others.

At ALAMAU 2018, this committee will collaboratively establish preventative mental health care for Africa’s youth and build solid coordination between government, civic society and the people to ensure sustainable mental health structure and care.

Topic: Establishing Preventative Mental Health Care Structures for Africa’s Children

Mental illness is considered a silent epidemic throughout most of Africa due to the inadequate prevention of mental disorders and promotion of mental health. It is a neglected yet serious problem that highly impacts all segments of the society but especially the youth. According to the WHO, most low-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 4 million kids. This includes the majority of African countries where 75% of those that suffer from mental illness cannot easily access the care they need.  In South Africa, a third of all hospital admissions for suicide attempts involve teens. Given that Africa has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world, where over 40% of Africa’s population is under 15 years old, strong preventative mental health care structures are vital.

Promotion and prevention in the mental health field are conceptually distinct but have similar approaches. Preventing mental disorders aims to reduce the symptoms but may use mental health promotion strategies to achieve that. In the Social Affairs and Health committee, member states will be focusing on the prevention phase by answering some of these prominent questions: what specific measures need to be taken by African countries to establish a preventative system for mental health care? For different stages of development, how could all African countries collaborate to establish a strong preventative structure? Should African countries reallocate resources to increase the budget for mental health care infrastructures or research and innovation?

In answer to these questions, the Social Affairs and Health committee will attempt to explore possible solutions to selectively prevent mental disorders. Member states will be discussing possible macro-preventative strategies like improving nutrition through nutritional interventions accompanied with counseling; improving access to education through formulating policies and subsidies; early interventions targeted at children of minority and impoverished families and reducing child neglect and abuse through home-based interventions and self-defense programs.

About the Specialized Technical Committee on Education 

This is a special Committee created solely for the purpose of the African Leadership Academy Model African Union. It is not an existing committee in the African Union (AU).

The aim of this committee is for the delegate representatives, who are top educational and developmental experts, to collaboratively find solutions and facilitate innovative conversations that could transform Africa’s education, which will have long-term positive effects on African economies.

Topic: Diversifying Educational Methods to Boost Quality of Primary Education in Africa

As the world continues to transition into an era of diverse forms of education, Africa is not necessarily where it could be. Many students are not pushed to develop their critical thinking and creativity, for example. This leaves room to question whether African education breeds as many change makers as it could.

Although Africa has made significant progress towards the achievement of Education for All and Millennium Development Goals, a number of challenges continue to threaten its progress, with the quality and type of education being prominent. There needs to be a greater emphasis on the type of education that is offered, especially with the rest of the world slowly moving away from traditional forms of education where teachers just stand in front of students referencing the textbook. Traditional forms of education can no longer produce new fruits; we are stuck in the past as long as we depend on them.

We need to find and lay foundations that are going to drive our educational systems forward. We need to start looking at different approaches for teaching and learning, as well as restructuring our early-childhood development programs to see what foundations can be laid in order to eradicate the educational deficit in Africa. The greater focus needs to be on primary education because that is where foundations can be laid, as the first few years of schooling clearly impact the rest of a child’s schooling career.

An expected outcome could be a resolution with new forms of pedagogy necessary for the improvement of the systems, as well as an early childhood development program that will be consistent across Africa.

About the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) was founded by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1958 as its African branch. 54 countries belong to this commission and to the United Nations as well. UNECA seeks to promote African cooperation and integration to develop the continent.

UNECA’s work is organized around seven main topics: social development, macroeconomic policy, regional integration and trade, natural resources management, innovation and technology, gender and governance

Topic: Ensuring Economic Stability through Diversification of Revenue Generators 

In the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, we will look at the different ways to diversify the sources of income on the African continent. This aligns with UNECA’s goal to encourage economic cooperation amongst its member states. The UNECA was founded by the United Nations ECOSOC in 1958 as one of its regional branches.

 

The main issue here is that many countries rely on a single and main source of revenue as their sole pillar of stability. Some of these resources are finite, as the example of the Democratic Republic of Congo suggests. Congo’s minerals represent 89% of their export revenues, which confirm the importance of this product to the DRC’s economy. However, copper mines in the DRC have been exploited by foreign states who manipulated the country and negatively impacted the society.

 

How can countries join their efforts together to become more reliable on the continental scene? The UNECA will therefore look at the new and next strategies to improve the condition of such countries and their security in cases of potential drawbacks. Indeed, ensuring economic and financial security is vital to a country’s sustainability, connecting to the theme of the topic: foundations for a sustainable future. The complexities to consider will mainly be for the countries to think and act as a union rather than individuals, and to agree on solutions that can benefit and be applicable to everyone.

 

Solutions can be multiple — they can range from limiting the protectionism of some countries to increasing free trade in Africa, or putting in place new limits to imports to encourage more production in the continent.