In the previous article the role and function of the Chair of the African Union (AU) Commission was articulated. The Commission as the organisation’s administrative arm needs to act independently of states and, the position of its Chair, an important one, requires the incumbent to manage the organisation and guide its work to ensure that programmes are realised. A powerful position, it requires an individual capable of balancing the needs of the states, that is their national interests against the needs of the organisation (the culminated interests of all the states). This careful balancing act requires individuals who are independent, resilient and resourceful.
Since inception the position has been filled by three men and one woman. The first Chair was Amara Essy from the Ivory Coast, from 9 July 2002 to 16 September 2003. He was followed by Alpha Oumar Konaré from Mali. His term in office was from 16 September 2003 to 28 April 2008. Jean Ping from Gabon took office thereafter until 16 October 2012. The next Chair; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma from South Africa, the first woman, is currently the Chair, and her term ends July this year. Just how independent, resolute, resilient and resourceful have they been, and if they have failed to be, is that failure a reflection on their capability or the flawed set up of the organisation?
Read the full article here in PDF: Chair Commission Article2