African Union

New Zealand engages strongly with the African Union (AU), a group of 55 African countries that work to promote unity and coordination among countries on the continent.

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We've supported the development of the AU Handbook which provides a guide for people working within the AU system (member states, government officials) as well as the AU's partners and the public. New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister has been a regular attendee at AU Summits.

African Union Handbook

This Handbook is published by the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the New Zealand Government. It is intended as a ready reference guide for people working in all parts of the AU system (Member States, government officials, Commission and other staff) as well as the AU’s many partners and wider civil society.

The book has at its heart information about the principal organs established by the AU Constitutive Act and subsequent protocols: the Assembly; Executive Council; Permanent Representatives Committee; Specialised Technical Committees; Peace and Security Council; AUC; Pan-African Parliament; Economic, Social and Cultural Council; and judicial, human rights, legal and financial institutions.

It also contains information about the specialised agencies and structures, as well as regional and other arrangements, including the Regional Economic Communities, which are the pillars of the AU and work closely with its institutions. Non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental organisations and political groups are not included, except where they have a formal agreement with the AU.

The Handbook focuses on the AU’s current structures and organs, including those in the process of becoming operational. As many of the AU structures and organs are directly inherited from its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), key details about the original OAU structures and transition to the AU are included where possible.

The Handbook project is managed by the Directorate of Information and Communication at the African Union Commission, and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hard copy

Within New Zealand: please email

Rest of the world: please contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission(external link).


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