Friends of the African Union

We, the African Diaspora in the USA, can be a change Africa needs – now .


The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) was officially established on 1 March 2003 by the Secretary-General Bulletin (ST/SGB/2003/6) PDF, in line with General Assembly Resolution A/RES/57/7 PDF of 4 November 2002 and became operational on 1 May 2003. OSAA’s role was subsequently expanded in resolution 66/293 PDF adopted by the General Assembly on 15 October 2012, which mandated the Office to establish a monitoring mechanism to review commitments made towards Africa’s development.

OSAA’s Africa Week 2017 took place on Oct 16th -20th 2017 in the context of the Theme for 2017: “Supporting an Integrated, Prosperous, People-centred, Peaceful Africa: Towards the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” FAU was at Africa Week 2017 from Oct 16th through Oct 18th to underscore the criticality and importance of partnerships and synergies at all levels and across all sectors for the realization of all aspirations, goals, priority actions and targets with the people of the African Diasporia in the USA.

RECOGNIZES that the African Union (AU), to date, is the only organization which has the structural and functional capacity to unite, and service the needs and aspirations of the more than 1.5 billion African people, globally and that includes, at least, 47M American citizens of African Descent.

NOW during the United Nations (UN) Africa Week 2017 sponsored by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) who supports the work of civil society organizations, like Friends of the African Union (FAU) and New Future Foundation (NFF), through the publication of a number of reports highlighting their contributions to addressing issues on peace, security and development in Africa and maintains a NGO database of African civil society organizations aimed at promoting their accessibility to the UN;

FURTHERMORE, the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa partners with civil society organizations to organize thematic high-level events such as African Week 2017 (Oct 16th -20th 2017) whose theme for 2017 is: “Supporting an Integrated, Prosperous, People-centred, Peaceful Africa: Towards the Implementation of Africa 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

IDENTIFYING the need to build sustainable partnerships between the African continent and the African Diaspora through sustainable dialogue and effective collaboration with governments and peoples of different regions of the World in which the Diaspora populations are located;

RECOGNIZING the role of civil society in Africa and the African Diaspora will continue to grow, as they are expected to be significantly involved in monitoring progress in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda at global level, as well as African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its first Ten-year Implementation Plan running from 2014 to 2023. As civil society we will work to see progress at AU continental, regional and national levels and in nations of the African Diaspora;

RECALLING the Protocol on Amendments to the Constitutive Act of the African Union adopted by the First Extra-Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2003, and in particular Article 3(q) which invites the African Diaspora to participate as an important component in the building of the African Union;

ADDITIONALLY RECALLING the objectives and principles enshrined in actions of the African Union and civil society’s participation in the 2013 review of Africa 2063 at the African Union’s Mission HQ to the United Nations with principale participation on roundtables on economic development (FAU as Roundtable Chair) and reparations for slavery(both FAU and NFF Chair’s serving);

FURTHER RECALLING relevant African Union Decisions including Decision EX.CL/Dec. 5 (III) on the Development of the Diaspora Initiative adopted by the Third Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Maputo, Mozambique, in July 2003, Decision EX.CL/Dec. 221 (VII) on the Africa-Diaspora Process adopted by the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in January 2006 and Decision EX.CL/Dec. 406 (XII) on the First African Union Diaspora Ministerial Conference adopted by the Twelfth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2008 on the modalities for Diaspora participation in the organs and activities of the Union and Decision Ass/AU/Dec.205(XI) adopted by the Eleventh Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in July 2008 on the Africa Diaspora Summit, Decision, Ass/AU/Dec 354 (XVI) of the Sixteen Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2011 on the Roadmap for the Diaspora Summit, including the convening of a Technical Experts meeting in Pretoria, South Africa in February 2011 and Decision Ass/AU/Dec 367 (XVII) of the Seventeenth Ordinary Session of Assembly of the Union on the convening of a second Ministerial Conference on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2011 as well as Decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 393(XVIII) endorsing the outcome and conclusions of the Second Ministerial Conference held in New York in September 2011;

COGNIZANT of the fact that culture and identity inform all facets of development;

ACKNOWLEDGING the need to celebrate and preserve the shared heritage between Africa and peoples of African descent in the Diaspora and that African Civil Society plays an import role in this;

BEARING IN MIND that the African Diaspora and its civil society represents a historical and evolving experience which calls for an approach that is sensitive to the specificities of the different regions;

AFFIRMING the need to promote African Cooperation between the African Diaspora as a framework for mutual development as well as Pan-African Solidarity, that working together, can provide a solution to the African people’s desperation and hopelessness along with the belief that things can’t change;

REAFFIRMING the importance of women and youth as important pillars of our society that should be mainstreamed in all Diaspora discourses and actions;

LAUDING the efforts undertaken thus far to support the people of Africa and the African Diaspora including organizational efforts, measures and strategies pursued by the African Union and the UN;

We were HONORED to witness recognition by the Chairman of OSAA’s Africa Week 2017 of New Future Foundation (NFF) Chairwoman Dr. Delois Blakely as representingon Oct 16th 2017 , at this historic event, African Civil Society. She led a NFF delegation that included FAU, FAU EDcorp, FAU USA Bureau, Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation/FAU Global Operations Center, Congress of Black Native Americans, Infinity Building Economics/Black Political Action Committee, the FAU Mighty Forefront, the Black Methodist for Church Renewal Chapter of Keys of the Kingdom United Methodist Church, and CASH Community Development to this meeting. The delegation was led by Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, who is a Ashanti Queen Mother, also carries the legacy of Queen Mother Audley Moore who in the UN represented the African Descendents of the TransAtlantic Ocean of the Middle Passage of African slavery in the Americas. Queen Mother Moore was a leader and life member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League founded in 1914 by Marcus Mosiah Garvey. She lived to be almost 100 years old and fought for reparations at the United Nations as the founder of the Committee for Reparations for Descendants of U.S. Slaves. Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely was a Community Fellow (1981-82) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Education Policy Fellow (1982-83) of the International Education Leadership, a Fulbright Scholar in Tanzania and Nigeria (1984-85). Queen Mother Dr. Blakely received two Master of Education Degrees, one from Harvard University (1982) and the second from Teachers College, Columbia University (1983) and a Doctorate of Education Degree from Teachers College in 1990. She graduated from the Franciscan Handmaids of Mary College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Religious Studies. She has published scholarly and popular books and articles on self-reliance, education, recreation, and culture;

KNOWLEDGEABLE of the Structure of the United Nations, the African Union, the African Development Bank, The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the World Bank and the government of the United States as well as public and private sector finance. We, by our signature, do hereby commit to do this work so as to encourage the Diaspora to organize in a global network and to establish appropriate mechanisms that will enable our increasing participation in the affairs of the African Union as observers and eventually, in the future, as a sixth region of the continent that would contribute substantially to the implementation of policies and programmes contained in solutions to the 2015 UPR of the USA, the AU’s Africa 2063 50 year plan and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals;

ACKNOWLEDGE the responsibility of the African Diaspora to fund and host rotational AU Diaspora Conference in Africa and in the Diaspora to review the implementation of this Programme of Action to hold the 9th Pan African Congress in the USA and shall have the following Committees and provide support for the development of action plans by the African Diaspora based on these committees:

(1) Peace and Security;

(2) Political Affairs;

(3) Infrastructure and Energy;

(4) Social Affairs and Health;

(5) Human Resources, Science, and Technology;

(6) Trade and Industry;

(7) Rural Economy and Agriculture;

(8) Economic Affairs;

(9) Women and Gender;

(10) Cross-Cutting Programmes

So we sign as African Civil Society Organizations and or their representatives committed to this work.

Friends of the African Union,

FAU EDcorp (our Economic Development public benefit company),

FAU Chamber of Commerce ,

Friends of the African Union USA Bureau,

FAU East Cleveland,

FAU Cincinnati OH, Friends of The African Union,

FAU Newark NJ, Friends of The African Union,

Friends of the African Union Bermuda-Americas Bureau ,

Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation/FAU Global Operations Center,

Congress of Black Native Americans,

Infinity Building Economics/Black Political Action Committee,

Lord & Blessing Foundation,

The FAU Mighty Forefront,

Carlton Brown Foundation,

the Black Methodist for Church Renewal Chapter of Keys of the Kingdom United Methodist Church, and

Caddo Assets Services Help Community Development


OSAA’s Africa Week 2016 took place on Oct 10th -14th 2016 in the context of the first year of implementation of both the historic 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The two agendas underscore the criticality and importance of partnerships and synergies at all levels and across all sectors for the realization of all aspirations, goals, priority actions and targets.

Above is at the High-level event on “Strengthening Partnerships for Inclusive Sustainable Development, Good Governance, Peace and Stability in Africa”, on the occasion of Africa Week. Queen Mother is at 2Hr 32 Min

In accordance with the above resolution, OSAA was initially mandated to:

In implementation of its mandate, OSAA:

  • supports the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in their deliberations on Africa;
  • coordinates and guide the preparation of Africa-related reports and inputs, in particular support forNEPAD by the United Nations System and the international community, including the private sector andcivil society;
  • coordinates the Interdepartmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFA), to ensure a coherent and integrated approach for United Nations support for Africa, including following up on the implementation of all global summit and conference outcomes related to Africa;
  • initiates reports on critical issues affecting Africa, and in particular on the interrelated issues of peace and development;
  • coordinates global advocacy in support of NEPAD, and;
  • acts as the focal point for NEPAD within the United Nations Secretariat at Headquarters.

Mr. Maged Abdelfatah Abdelaziz, Current Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa

Maged Abdelfatah AbdelazizUnder-Secretary-General Abdelaziz was appointed by the Secretary-General by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on  8 March 2012, and took up office on Thursday 17 May  of the same year. He brings to the position more than 33 years of experience in multilateral diplomacy, a direct engagement in promoting global peace, security and development.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Abdelaziz  had been serving as Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations in New York, since 2005.  In that capacity, he co-chaired in 2008 the Review Conference on Financing for Development and, in 2009, he was the Rapporteur, representing Africa, at the Conference on the Economic and Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Development.

Having served as Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (2011-12) and Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly (2008-2009), Mr. Abdelaziz enjoys an intimate knowledge of the UN intergovernmental processes and multilateral diplomacy. Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 65/289 to consider rates of reimbursement to troop contributing countries and related issues, he also served as a member of the Secretary-General’s Senior Advisory Group. As Chair of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement since 2009, he chaired the High Officials’ meeting of the 15th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in Sharm El Sheik (Egypt) in July 2009.

As Deputy Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations (1997-99) he was the principal officer in charge of all the questions relating to disarmament. During that period, he served as the Chair of the United Nations Disarmament Commission which negotiated and adopted the United Nations guidelines for the establishment of Nuclear Weapons-free Zones. He was a member of the Egyptian delegation to the Security Council during Egypt’s membership of the council in (1984-85) and (1995-97).

Mr. Abdelaziz played a leading role in the establishment of the Human Rights Council and the Peace-Building Commission as well as the elaboration and adoption of the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. He also played an active role in enhancing the United Nations’ role in development, with particular emphasis on the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and enhancing the global response to the special needs of Africa, the Least Developed Countries and the Small Islands Developing States.

His focus was on revitalizing the entire agenda relating to the special needs of Africa, including through implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to which the Secretary-General attaches the highest priority.

Mr. Abdelaziz graduated from the Ain Shams University School of Law in 1973. He is married and father of one daughter.

More about OSAA

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.

ECA’s strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and subregional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities. To enhance its impact, ECA places a special focus on collecting up to date and original regional statistics in order to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promoting policy consensus; providing meaningful capacity development; and providing advisory services in key thematic fields.

ECA’s thematic areas of focus are as follows:

ECA also provides technical advisory services to African governments, intergovernmental organizations and institutions. In addition, it formulates and promotes development assistance programmes and acts as the executing agency for relevant operational projects.

Specialized regional advisory services and meaningful capacity development support to member States is provided in the following priority areas:

  • Promotion of industrialization
  • Design and implementation of macroeconomic policy
  • Design and articulation of development planning
  • Supporting mineral resources contract negotiations
  • Promoting the proper management of natural resources for Africa’s transformation

ECA is headed by an  Executive Secretary, who is assisted by two Deputy Executive Secretaries. Its work programme is supported by two pillars: knowledge generation and knowledge delivery. There are five substantive divisions responsible for policy research: Macroeconomic Policy, Regional Integration & Trade, Social Policy Development, Special Initiatives, and the African Centre for Statistics. The Capacity Development Division, IDEP (ECA’s training arm), the Division of Administration and ECA’s Subregional Offices in Rabat, Niamey, Yaounde, Kigali and Lusaka comprise the knowledge delivery pillar. Knowledge generation and knowledge delivery at the ECA are underpinned by the Strategic Planning & Operational Quality Division and the Public Information and Knowledge Management Division. The ECA Partnerships Office and the Joint Secretariat Support Office of the ECA, African Union Commission and African Development Bank complement the work of the substantive divisions.

ECA’s policy work aims to shape Africa’s transformation by supporting a growth path which addresses the vulnerabilities that impact on people’s lives.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges. It promotes and supports international cooperation to promote development for all. In providing a broad range of analytical products, policy advice, and technical assistance, UN DESA effectively translates global commitments in the economic, social and environmental spheres into national policies and actions and continues to play a key role in monitoring progress towards internationally agreed-upon development goals.

Due to the importance the United Nations attaches to economic and social affairs, the Department contains several important Divisions. These include the Development Policy Division, the Financing for Development Office, the Division for Sustainable Development, the Division for Social Development, the Division for Public Administration, the Statistics Division, and the Population Division. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.

UN DESA works in three main interlinked areas:

  • it compiles, generates and analyzes a wide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which States Members of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policy options;
  • it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmental bodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges;
  • it advises interested Governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworks developed in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the country level and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities.

In 2002, due to the increased burden of servicing an increasing number of conferences including the Millennium Declaration, the Department was expanded and gained a new office of an Assistant Secretary-General. UNDESA is headquartered in New York, but has an important secondary office in Rome (Italy), managing the coordination of Italian Fellowship and JPO Programmes.