The African Union Commission, previously the Organisaton of African Unity, is Africa’s biggest and most influential regional body. Its origins span from a time the continent was fighting against colonialism and Apartheid with African heroes such as Kwame Nkrumah, Emperor Hailie Selassie, Muammar Gaddafi, Sekou Touré, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere and many others being its founding fathers.
It’s 54 years later and the AU has won its fight against colonialism and Apartheid and has shifted its focus to the development of the continent in order to create a prosperous, people-centered Africa which is a key global player.
More and more young people want to join the AU and contribute to the development of the continent. Would you like to work for the AU? Besides meeting the requirements of the job description here are some tips on how you can land a job with the AU.
Be a Pan Africanist!
In order to work for Africa’s largest regional organization, you have to love the continent and be a Pan-Africanist. Pan-Africanism is essentially the belief that African unity is important for the social, political and economic development of the African people. When talking about Pan-Africanism, other theories such as Black Consciousness and Ubuntu come to mind. However, this should not just be a theory, you should genuinely believe in a Pan-African Africa with a strong regional identity.
Your belief in Pan-Africanism should be evident in your cover letter, make it known through the interview, and your personal and professional experiences should speak to that.
Demonstrate that you have done development work in your community.
This is very important. Your previous and current experiences (personal and professional) should demonstrate that you have been active in the African development space, especially in your country of origin and/or its sub-region. This shows that you aware of and can conceptualize the realities that Africa is faced with in different subjects and can make a meaningful contribution as you are in sync with the realities.
Be African with an international view
The African Union works with a wide variety of organizations and governments worldwide. The pool of AU staff come from different African countries and the diaspora. This means that you will constantly work with people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, whose working language is probably different from yours (The AU has four official working languages). You have to be culturally sensitive and be willing to learn from other people’s cultures and backgrounds.
You have to demonstrate an international outlook and be forward thinking. Any international experience you might have will work out in your favour. Do not conceptualize ideas within the framework of your country origin but it should have an African and international view. Simply put do not give a single country’s view/perspective to solve continental problems.
Diplomacy plays a huge part in the African Union’s work so you need to be diplomatic. You need to be able to find diplomatic solutions in your work and in all your experiences.
Most, if not all, of the work done at the AU is very sensitive so you need to be sensitive to others while so you need to be tactful and consider everyone’s opinions while maintaining your own.
Know Agenda 2063
Agenda 2063 is the holy grail of the African Union as it is the continent’s 50-year developmental framework. It is based on seven aspirations which will result in the “Africa We Want”. Agenda 2063 works towards creating a prosperous, peaceful, people-centered Africa with a regional identity.
If you want to land a job with the AU you have to know and understand Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects which are currently being implemented. For the first time, the AU’s focus is not only predominantly on peace and security but on the continent’s development and making it a key player in the global arena.
Agenda 2063 does not belong to the AU but to all Africans! It relies heavily on its implementation by member states. Every single African has the responsibility to seeing this great plan through in order for the continent to enjoy the fruits of its aspirations.
Thousands of people who meet the job description apply for jobs at the AU Commission but it is those who robustly believe in themselves and the continent who get the job. If you would like to get more information on vacancies at the AU Commission visit http://aucareers.org/