- Economic development and employment
- Social development
- Rural development
- Security, reconstruction and peace
- Governance and democracy
The African Union (AU) is the most important regional organisation on the African continent comprising 55 member states. It plays a pivotal role in promoting peace and security, democratic governance, regional economic integration and social development across Africa. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been partner of the AU since 2004.
As the world is undergoing a demographic, political and economic transition, the African continent has been hit by multiple crises. Political instability and violent conflict have placed democratic governance, human rights and international law under pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic and other diseases have exposed the weakness of public health systems and infrastructure on the continent. Africa has a population of 1.4 billion people, 60 per cent of whom are under the age of 25. This dynamic development gives the continent an immense potential to address its developmental challenges, many of which transcend national borders.
GIZ’s cooperation with the AU is carried out on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the European Union (EU), among others. In more than 23 African member states, GIZ partners with the AU Commission as well as many of the AU’s specialised institutions and agencies to jointly implement programmes and projects at continental, national as well as regional level. These include, among others, the AU Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the AU Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). As a regional portfolio, GIZ African Union has a team of over 200 staff, who are deployed in more than 25 African member states and work closely with the respective GIZ country portfolios.
GIZ supports the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want in the following key areas:
- Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
- Governance and Migration
- Sustainable Economic Growth and Infrastructure
- Health and Social Development
The African Union has helped its member states define colonial-era borders on the continent. With support of GIZ, more than 6,000 kilometres of ill-defined borderlines were delimitated through agreeing on the exact course and demarcated by, for example, installing border pillars. Taken together, these achievements significantly helped reduce conflict over natural resources and crime in these regions.
To benefit from the opportunities for the economic integration of the continent provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), GIZ assisted to promote the ratification of the AU’s Protocol for the Free Movement of People in various countries to enable visa-free travel and engage in cross-border work and trade.
GIZ has supported the AU Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) to develop a continental green and sustainable infrastructure policy. Through a joint project preparation mechanism, dozens of projects in the fields of transportation, energy, water and communication technology have been prepared to establish functional systems of roads, railways, ports, dams, electricity and technologies in key infrastructure corridors.
Furthermore, GIZ improved the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to respond to health emergencies and helped design and implement the Bingwa Initiative, a vaccination campaign that stimulated massive demand for the COVID-19 vaccine among African youths.