Click the links below to see the ALAMAU 2017 Committees
About the African Commission on Science and Technology
The African Commission on Science and Technology is a proposed organization designed to engage in research and implementation of innovative advancements in Africa. Considering the huge impact of science and technology on global progress, it is imperative for the African Union to create an agency to aggregate the best ideas for utilizing science and technology to contribute to African development.
At ALAMAU 2017, the African Commission on Science and Technology will be composed of representatives of 25 AU member states brainstorming opportunities for incorporating Science and Technology with investments in entrepreneurship to boost Africa’s economies.
Topic: Advancing Entrepreneurship in Africa through Science and Technology
Recognized as the most indispensable player in the modern economy, entrepreneurship is a growing component of modern business practices. Likewise, science and technology have always been considered as foundations of societal advancement and effective engines for job creation and economic growth. Thus, hand-in-hand, Science, Technology and entrepreneurship represent some of Africa’s best untapped avenues for advancing economic prosperity.
According to the International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, “moving technology from the scientific discovery stage to a commercially successful product is one of the major drivers of economic development in today’s world order and it is entrepreneurship that serves as a diffusion mechanism to transform scientific inventions into new product and service innovations”.
Since the turn of the millennium, the African continent has come into view as one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions. Several development experts across the world have celebrated the continent’s emerging GDP growth, but African countries are still heavily dependent on resource extraction and unskilled labor as an economic base. This foreshadows the lack of innovation and entrepreneurship in the African economy. In other words, the DNA of science and entrepreneurship has not been sufficiently developed yet. The question arising out of this is how to invest in and incorporate science, technology and entrepreneurship for a better African economy.
The African Commission on Science and Technology is not an existing organ of the African Union. It is a hypothetical organ created strictly for the purposes of simulation at ALAMAU 2017
About the African Development Bank
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The African Development Bank is a multilateral development finance institution which promotes and contributes to the social and economic development of African states by investing in projects and programmes designed to reduce poverty and improve living conditions. This is achieved by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.
All African Union member states (with the exception of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic) and Morocco are shareholders of the African Development Bank.
The Bank works in the areas of agriculture and agro industries, climate change, economic and financial governance, education, energy and power, environment, gender, health, human capital development, information and communication technology, infrastructure, transport, water supply and sanitation among others.
At ALAMAU 2017, the African Development Bank will be composed of representatives of 30 AU member states focusing on investments in agriculture to transform Africa’s economies.
Topic: Fast-Tracking Africa’s Green Revolution for Subsistence and Trade
Agriculture plays a massive role in the economies of many African countries, providing an average of about 15 percent of GDP for the continent. However, In sub-Saharan Africa, roughly two-thirds of the population live in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods; nearly half live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1/day; and one-third are undernourished. During the ‘Green Revolution’, several countries worldwide witnessed massive increases in the quality and quantity of their agricultural yields by investing in improved farming practices and technology.
Africa missed out on the Green Revolution due to the use of traditional crop varieties, increasingly depleted soils, scarce and unreliable water supply, inequitable land-distribution patterns, inefficient and unfair markets, and poor agricultural and transportation infrastructure. Therefore, in spite of the continent’s vast agricultural potential, the sector is still failing to meet our needs for subsistence and trade. The African Development Bank at ALAMAU 2017 will be considering potential agricultural innovations and ways in which countries can improve their agricultural practices to fast-track Africa’s Green Revolution and end food insecurity in Africa.
About the African Energy Commission
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Established in 1980, The African Energy Commission (AFREC) was created to address the persistent energy crises across the continent. Africa largely faces a shortage of power production, which has decapitated infrastructural and economic growth and also lowered living standards for Africans. As a technical committee, The African Energy Commission is dedicated to mapping up short range and long range sustainable solutions to these problems. The Commission serves as the base for the implementation of energy conservation and protection techniques through the co-ordination of projects across the continent. AFREC also plays a significant role in strategizing the reform of Energy sectors within the continent as it operates in synchronization with several other organisations that seek to remedy the power crisis on the continent. These organisations include European Union Energy Facility and the Clean Development Mechanism. Ultimately the goals of the African Energy Commission are to co-ordinate the sustenance, sufficiency and security of the continent’s energy production so as to provide equitable access for all Africans.
At ALAMAU 2017, the African Energy Commission will be composed of representatives of 25 African Union member states exploring ideas towards ensuring optimal energy production for Africa’s development needs.
Topic: Creating a Blueprint for Sustainable Power Generation in Africa
According to the United Nations, by 2050, the African continent will be home to 2.4 million people — twice as many people as there are currently. Consequently, over the course of the next few decades, Africa will witness a spike in housing, education and healthcare demands as well as food consumption. However, an indispensable resource that will similarly undergo increased demand is electricity. These population projections bring to concern whether power generation will be able to meet up with an exploding African population given the present trends of insufficient energy generation especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The power shortages that plague the continent stem from mismanagement of coal and natural gas resources and the underutilization of alternative energy resources1 amongst several other factors.
In the African energy commission we will attempt to map out a blueprint for sustainable and sufficient power generation to counter the current trends of mismanagement and underutilisation. Thus, we will explore how we can utilise Africa’s natural endowments to boost energy generation while discovering how we can stunt the mismanagement of coal and gas resources. We will also discuss the feasibility of nuclear energy as a means to bolster power generation for the continent2
The African Energy Commission will be reviewing several case studies including Ghana to understand what strides are being taken to utilise alternative energy sources and the obstacles that hinder these efforts. This will ensure that proposed solutions to providing sustainable and sufficient power generation are crafted to the realities of African states and are not repeats of failed solutions.
Ghana, which has a population of 26 million, harnesses energy from an array of renewable and non-renewable resources. In response to a 15% increase in demand for electricity over the last decade, Ghana has diversified its energy resources. The country presently generates most of it electricity from hydro3, thermal, solar and wind energy. Africa’s largest solar plant, the Nzema project, is being built in Ghana and will have the capacity to generate 155 Megawatts of power. Ghana has also adopted a strategy to improve power production from natural gas through ongoing projects such as the Ghana 1000 gas-to-power project and the Takoradi-4 gas turbine. Although Ghana currently does not generate power from nuclear energy, it possess a nuclear research reactor4 and will begin developing a nuclear power plant by 2018. These projects are a result of Ghana’s determination to add 2500 Megawatts of power over the next decade so as to ensure sufficiency and sustainability of power amidst a growing population.
The African energy commission will be exploring what strategies economically diverse nations can adopt to ensure that power production meets the demands of a booming population and will be sustained well into the future.
1Alternative energy resources include renewable resources such as solar, tidal and biomass energy; and non-renewable energy resources such as nuclear energy.
2 Africa holds three of the ten largest uranium reserves in the world, which are located in South Africa, Namibia and Niger.
3 Sixty-eight percent of Ghana’s energy is harnessed through hydro technology.
4 Nuclear research reactors are used in medicine and industry for training, research and material testing but not for power production.
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 ministers of Foreign Affairs or other such ministers or authorities designated by the governments of member states. The Council coordinates and takes decisions on policies in areas of common interest to the member states, and is responsible to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
The Council’s prime mission is to coordinate, harmonize and take decisions on the policies, activities and initiatives of the Union in areas of common interest to member states, ranging from foreign trade, energy, agriculture and the environment to humanitarian response, health, social security and disability. The Council promotes cooperation and coordination with the regional economic organizations, the African Development Bank (ADB), other African institutions and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and determines policies for cooperation between the AU and Africa’s partners.
At ALAMAU 2017, the Executive Council will be composed of Ministers of Health of 25 AU member states aligning on strategies to eradicate the prevalence of preventable diseases in Africa and to address the continent’s susceptibility to an outbreak of infectious diseases.
Topic: Strengthening Healthcare Systems to Combat Infectious Diseases
Though there have been notable advancements in medicine and a major decline of deaths caused by epidemics in Africa, infectious diseases still represent a serious threat to the wellbeing of the African population. The outbreak of the Ebola Virus in 2014 was a cautionary signal for African countries to reconsider the menace of these diseases in the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization, 11,315 people have been reported as having died from the disease in six countries, with five of them African: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali. Today, many developing African countries still do not benefit from access to community sanitation, personal hygiene, and public health education at large. Indeed, the public healthcare system in Africa is by no means prepared to prevent and contain a new outbreak. The Executive Council will be considering some of these prominent questions: What specific measures need to be taken by African countries in order to control the existing epidemics while preventing the emergence of new infectious diseases? How can African countries, at different stages of development, collaborate to address this matter? Should African countries develop a single set of public health guidelines and standards? How applicable would this common strategy be to the different national healthcare agendas?
About the High Level Committee on Futuristic Education
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The High Level Committee on Futuristic Education is a special committee created to aggregate the best ideas on the future of education in Africa, and to propose innovations to be adopted by member states of the African Union. It is composed of top education and development experts from all around the continent, bringing global perspectives into an Africa-centric conversation.
At ALAMAU 2017, the High Level Committee on Futuristic Education will be composed of representatives of 25 AU member states developing a futuristic agenda for education and skills development for Africa.
Topic: Designing Futuristic Education Systems for Africa’s Emerging Economy
As the global economy progresses towards its fourth industrial revolution, unlocking new levels of possibilities through a fusion of technological and digital capabilities, Africa must innovate or be left behind. According to the World Economic Forum, the first industrial revolution was about using water and steam to mechanize production, the second was about using electric power to create mass production, while the third was about using electronics and information technology to automate production; now the fourth industrial revolution is transforming the global economy through rapid innovations in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, quantum computing, biotechnology etc. The key to unlocking and accessing these innovations is by radically transforming our education systems to enable Africa partake in the fourth industrial revolution.
While the prevailing narrative about Africa’s education systems focuses on the need to ensure the acquisition of basic literacy, numeracy and arithmetic skills, there needs to be a gradual progression at the same time towards advanced and futuristic education that can equip African citizens with the skills to be effective in the emerging global economy. The upcoming generation of young Africans is unique in terms of its identity and its complexity – some of the identity markers of this generation are creativity, technological advancement and inter-connectivity. This also means that there will be new challenges arising in the continent. Africa will need to move away from solving common problems such as preventable disease and civil wars to potentially solving cyber conflicts and connectivity issues. Therefore, the education offered must be able to prepare futuristic leaders and workers who have the cognitive ability to deal with these rising challenges. Our education systems must be both effective and productive for Africa to take this new course.
The time has come for Africa to progress beyond basic education which the rest of the world has already mastered. In preparing for the future, our education systems must be adaptable to changing world patterns. We must embrace practicality, innovation and advanced technology in our institutions. We must nurture the aptitude for innovative learning and creativity in the children and youth of Africa. We must get people to dream and to actualize their dreams. We must embrace a knowledge economy where the fruits of education will be realized directly in the society. The true value of education is in equipping young people with the requisite skills to be productive in society, and Africa’s education systems need to evolve along with the rest of the world. It goes without saying that there is need for devotion to this mission in order to make Africa the most desirable continent in the world.
The High Level Committee on Futuristic Education is not an existing organ of the African Union. It is a hypothetical organ created strictly for the purposes of simulation at ALAMAU 2017
About the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
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The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or 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 marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process, accelerate the empowerment of women and to fully integrate Africa into the global economy.
At ALAMAU 2017, NEPAD will be represented by the 20 members of its Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, focusing on strategies to utilize integrated communications and transportation to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.
Topic: Connecting Africa’s Resources for Economic Growth
Africa is claimed to have the second fastest growing economy in the world, following behind Asia, with a Real Gross Domestic Product (Real GDP) growth rate of 3% in 2015. The Real GDP measures the value of the total output of an economy, in terms of its goods and services. Thus, when looking at Africa’s Real GDP growth rate, it becomes clear that it has the potential to be the continent that would someday produce the most goods and services. This potential, however, is limited by an inability to integrate its resources to collectively boost the economy. According to Jubril Enakele, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Capital Limited, in December 2015, Africa’s GDP was only a tenth of North America’s GDP. Although Africa has the second biggest land mass – making up 20.3% of the world’s total land area, the African economy does not reflect its size. Poor integration means that the total number of resources accessible to African countries are restricted to their geographic locations. Some countries have less resources than others, which, in turn, limits their ability to significantly contribute to the continent’s total GDP. The most powerful means of proper continental integration are: improving transport and communication channels, establishing free trade areas, or creating a visa-free regime, amongst other means.
Trade between the five regions of Africa, for example, only makes up 13% of the total trade on the African continent, whereas Asia has 53% of its trade taking place between its regions. This weakness in intra-regional trade, in Africa, is partly due to the high costs incurred by African countries in transporting people, goods and services across the continent. According to the Economist, the cost of transporting a car from China to Tanzania is around $4000, whereas it would cost Tanzania $5000 to transport the same car to nearby Uganda. By improving the transportation channels between African countries, it would be easier, and much cheaper, for trade to take place between nations. This will ensure that countries with fewer resources have easier access to such resources, which in turn, increases their contribution to Africa’s Real GDP.
Similarly, improved intra-continental communication could lead to an increase in the Real Output (Real GDP) of the continent. In 2007, the African Development Group, along with NEPAD, launched the Connect Africa Initiative to accelerate the integration of communication and information technology on the continent. One of the ways they plan to do this, is by placing US$6.4 billion worth of fiber cables, running about 70 000 km along the African continent. The reason communication is so important, is because countries could increase their productivity by communicating with each other, and sharing ways in which they could cut costs and produce more efficiently. It is, therefore, of great importance that African nations discuss ways in which they could further the integration of Africa, particularly focusing on trans-continental transportation and communication, in order to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.
About the Pan-African Parliament
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The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is the legislative body of the African Union (AU), established “to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent”. The Parliament is intended as a platform for people from all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
The Parliament has 250 members representing the 50 of the 54 AU member States that have ratified the Protocol establishing it. Each country’s representatives are currently elected legislators in their own States, rather than being elected directly by the people of AU member States to the Parliament. The Parliament functions through 10 permanent committees to coordinate its affairs.
At ALAMAU 2016, the Pan African Parliament will be composed of 30 representatives of AU member states developing a framework to promote accountability and transparency in public governance.
Topic: Promoting Rule of Law, Accountability and Transparency in Public Governance
Between 1990 and 2005, Africa progressed from being a sinking to a “rising” continent, a change not deterred by the 2008-2010 global recession. This is attributable to much improved governance systems across the continent. New accountability frameworks for monitoring capacity development and support programmes like the African Peer Review Mechanism have been introduced, and there have been actions taken to improve the prevalence of good governance on the continent. However, in parallel to this, as shown in the 2013 Africa Progress Report, lack of transparency is particularly harmful in Africa because it leads to inefficient and inequitable use of the continent’s huge resources of oil, gas and minerals. In Africa, poor governance has led to poor economic growth and it is manifested through corruption, political instability, ineffective rule of laws and weak institutions. Thus, African states need to get governance right in order to pull citizens out of poverty. Consequently, it should be stressed that in order to utilize economic opportunities successfully, private and governmental institutions are required and this in turn requires effective good governance. On the flip side, for good governance to prevail, institutions that promote checks and balances within government are required.
While business governance has been steadily improving in Africa, corruption and lack of transparency remain pervasive concerns, undermining social, economic and political progress at many levels. One of the pertinent issues of good governance lies in elections; opposition parties routinely lack access to resources and security, thus undermining the effectiveness of the electoral process. As such, in order to promote inclusive and sustainable development, there is an urgent need to institute good governance practices at all levels of public governance.
About the Peace and Security Council
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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) is the organ of the African Union that is responsible for promoting and maintaining peace, security and stability in Africa and for the management of catastrophes and humanitarian actions. It is considered as the structure responsible for enforcing the African Union’s decisions, mainly through preventive diplomacy and armed intervention in the cases of war crimes, genocide, and severe acts of terrorism.
Not only does it take the lead in identifying threats to the peace of the continent, it also undertakes peace-making and peace-building actions in order to anticipate conflicts and disputes. It establishes peace support operations and, in certain circumstances, recommends intervention to promote peace, security and stability. The PSC aims at promoting democratic practices, good governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the sanctity of human life and international humanitarian law.
The Peace And Security Council is the successor to the Organization of African Union’s (OAU) Central Organ of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, and is composed of 15 members, all elected by the AU Executive Council.
At ALAMAU 2017, the Peace and Security Council will be composed of 15 AU member states focusing on addressing threats to geo-security across the continent.
Topic: Developing Advanced Inter-Regional Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism
Terrorism fueled by extremism is undeniably the gravest security threat of this century, and the African continent is not spared. From the growing spread of the Islamic State in the North to the prominent influence of Boko Haram in the West or the current supremacy of Al-Shabaab in the East, entire regions are destabilized and shaken by the irrational display of extremism by these groups. Terrorist groups in Africa are no longer content with operating within individual countries; in recent times, they have demonstrated the intent and capacity to operate within entire regions, thus posing threats of higher proportions to the continent as a whole. Geo-security thus becomes a concern, and regional cooperation an urgency. Terrorist organizations rely heavily on secrecy and anonymity to carry out their religious and politically driven agendas, often targeting areas where they can inflict mass casualties. Can intelligence gathering and sharing make terrorists more vulnerable to infiltration, investigation and arrest? Can their military strength be curbed by regional collaboration?
About the Press Corps
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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 United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1958 as one of its regional commissions. It consists of the 54 countries in Africa that are members of the United Nations.
The mandate of the UNECA is to support the economic and social development of its member states, foster intraregional integration and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. It also provides technical advisory services to AU governments, inter-governmental organisations and institutions.
UNECA’s work is organised around seven substantive clusters: social development, macroeconomic policy, regional integration and trade, natural resources management, innovation and technology, gender and governance. UNECA focuses primarily on collection and analysis of data, formulation of policies, technical support through designing frameworks and tools that promote monitoring and evaluation of policies, and generation of recommendations.
At ALAMAU 2017, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa will be composed of 30 AU member states brainstorming strategies to grow intra-Africa trade by prioritizing mechanized manufacturing and industrialization.
Topic: Boosting Intra-Africa Trade through Industrialization
Intra-African trade has the potential to be one of the main catalysts of economic independence and growth in the continent. Through trade, nations are able to create jobs, raise incomes and be well integrated into the global market. In 2012, the African Union emphasized the importance of the integration of the African market by adopting a plan that aimed to create a continental free trade area (CFTA). However, very little progress have been achieved as the percentage of intra-Africa trade lies between 10% and 12% of Africa’s total trade. The majority of African economies today depend mainly on primary production and extraction of natural resources such as gold, diamonds and agricultural goods. Nigeria for instance, one of the world’s largest producer of crude oil, exports more than 80% of its oil and imports refined petroleum. This represents 15% of the total Nigerian imports, and it is due to the lack of the infrastructure needed to process it for local consumption. This is the case for many other African countries who are dependent on exportation of raw material to be manufactured beyond the shores of the continent. Thus, it is crucial for African nations to focus on the industrialization and manufacturing of their natural resources in order to enhance the African economy.