The Panel of the Wise is a consultative body of the African Union, composed of five appointed members who each serve three year terms. Its mandate is to provide opinions to the Peace and Security Council on issues relevant to conflict prevention, management, and resolution. Representatives are chosen for the North, East, South, West, and Central regions of the continent.
The first Panel of the Wise was established in December 2007, with a mandate which expired in 2010. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government, meeting in Kampala in 2010, decided to expand the Panel's composition, by appointing a Group of "Friends of the Panel of the Wise" appointed on the same basis as the Panel (one representative for each African sub-region).
PanWise is a Pan-African network, established through a Decision of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in May 2013, and which brings together mediation actors and mechanisms, such as the AU Panel of the Wise, COMESA Committee of Elders, ECOWAS Panel of the Elders, SADC Panel of the Wise, future RECs mechanisms, Insiders’ Mediators, African and international mediators working in Africa, with complementary responsibilities.
The aim of PanWise is to strengthen, coordinate and harmonise prevention, early response and peacemaking efforts carried by various actors in Africa under a single umbrella.
Pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC Protocol); the Protocol on Relations between the African Union and Regional Economic Communities; the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Area of Peace and Security between the AU, the RECs and Stand by Brigades of Eastern Africa and Northern Africa (MoU); the Modalities for the Functioning of the Panel of the Wise (AU); and, finally, the experiences and lessons learned as regards cooperation, collaboration and harmonization between the AU Panel of the Wise and its counterparts at sub-regional and national levels, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government at the 21st ordinary session of the AU Summit, which marked the 50th Golden Jubilee of the OAU on 25 May 2013, adopted a decision to establish the “Pan-African Network of the Wise” (PanWise). PanWise is comprised, as core members, of the AU Panel of the Wise/Friends and its existing and future counterparts at sub-regional level including: the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Council of the Wise; the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Mediation Reference Group and Panel of Elders; the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa’s (COMESA) Committee of Elders; and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development’s (IGAD) Mediation Contact Group, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), East African Community (EAC), Union of Maghreb States (UMA) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD). As associate members, PanWise includes the Forum of Former African Heads of State, the Association African Ombudesmen and Mediators (AAOM), national infrastructures for peace, national mediation councils, etc., as well as relevant African mediation associations/ institutions. When appropriate to the agenda of the PanWise, the AU Chairperson as well as African mediators Special Envoys, Special Representatives, Chief Mediators and their Mediation Teams shall be invited to participate in network activities. The establishment of the “Pan African Network of the Wise” is not prejudicial to the independence of each Panel, the confidentiality required of them as they perform their roles within their respective home organisations, as well their latitude in choosing partners, donors and other stakeholders. In conducting its activities, the “Pan African Network of the Wise” is at all times cognizant that its members may be actively engaged in preventive diplomacy, mediation and related activities with parties engaged in a dispute or conflict, and therefore discretion, respect for confidentiality and careful consultation with members on deliberations is observed. The successful establishment of the PanWise is a significant contribution to the Golden Jubilee of the OAU celebrated this year under the theme “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”. Indeed, it emphasizes and puts into practice the ideals of the Forefathers of the OAU, Pan-Africanism, solidarity and unity of purpose.
Landmark activities and impact:
Members of the Panel of the Wise from June 2017 to May 2019 Southern Africa (Namibia) Mr Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia, Current Chairperson of the Panel of the Wise; North Africa (Egypt) Mr. Amr Moussa, former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; East Africa (Uganda) Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, former Vice President of Uganda; Central Africa (Gabon) Mrs. Honorine Nzet Biteghe, former Minister for Women and Family; West Africa (Liberia) Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.
Southern Africa (Mozambique) Dr. Luisa Diogo, former Prime Minister of Mozambique, Current Chairperson of the Panel of the Wise; North Africa (Algeria) Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, former UN Envoy for Syria, among others; East Africa (Uganda) Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, former Vice President of Uganda; Central Africa (Angola) Mrs. Albina Assis, former Minister of Petroleum; West Africa (Togo) Dr. Edem Kodjo, former Prime Minister of Togo and former OAU Secretary General.
The first members, appointed in 2007, were:
|Region||Member||Country||Description||Role in Panel|
|North||Ahmed Ben Bella||Algeria||former President of Algeria||Member (Chairperson)|
|West||Elisabeth K. Pognon||Benin||President of the Constitutional Court in Benin||Member|
|East||Salim Ahmed Salim||Tanzania||former Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity||Member|
|Central||Miguel Trovoada||São Tomé and Príncipe||former President of São Tomé and Príncipe||Member|
|South||Brigalia Bam||South Africa||Head of South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission||Member|
The current members and friends of the Panel of the Wise, who are the outgoing members of the Panel of the Wise serving from 2010 to 2014, are:
|Region||Member||Country||Description||Role in Panel|
|North||Ahmed Ben Bella||Algeria||former President of Algeria||Member (Chairperson; 2nd & last term), (N.B., deceased, April 2012)|
|West||Mary Chinery-Hesse||Ghana||Member (1st term)|
|East||Salim Ahmed Salim||Tanzania||former Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity||Member (2nd & last term)|
|Central||Marie-Madeleine Kalala||Democratic Republic of the Congo||Member (1st term)|
|South||Kenneth Kaunda||Zambia||President of Zambia||Member (1st term)|
|West||Elisabeth K. Pognon||Benin||President of the Constitutional Court in Benin||Friend (2nd & last time)|
|Central||Miguel Trovoada||São Tomé and Príncipe||former President of São Tomé and Príncipe||Friend (2nd & last term)|
|South||Brigalia Bam||South Africa||Head of South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission||Friend (2nd & last term)|
The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) includes the three central instruments conflict prevention, conflict management and peace building of the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as well as the Regional Mechanism (RMs).African Standby Force
The African Standby Force (ASF) (French: Force africaine en attente) is an international, continental African, and multidisciplinary peacekeeping force with military, police and civilian contingents that acts under the direction of the African Union. The ASF is to be deployed in times of crisis in Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serves as the Force's Headquarters. Douala, Cameroon, was selected in 2011 as the site of the AU's Continental Logistics Base (LOGBASE).In 2003, a 2010 operational date for the force was set.African Union
The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa. The intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.
The African Union has an area of around 29 million km2 (11 million sq mi) and includes popular world landmarks, including the Sahara and the Nile. The primary languages spoken include Arabic, English, French and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.Ahmed Ben Bella
Ahmed Ben Bella (Arabic: أحمد بن بلّة Aḥmad bin Billah; 25 December 1916 – 11 April 2012) was an Algerian politician, socialist soldier and revolutionary who was the first President of Algeria from 1963 to 1965.Brigalia Bam
Brigalia Bam (born 1933) is an Anglican women's and social activist and writer.Elizabeth Kayissan Pognon
Elizabeth Kayissan Pognon (born 1937) is a Beninese judge and lawyer. In 1993 she was elected as president of Benin's Constitutional Court. She was one of the first members of the Panel of the Wise, and was appointed as such (representing West Africa) in 2007. As of 2014 she was a member of the Friends of the Panel group.Mary Chinery-Hesse
Mary Chinery-Hesse is a retired International civil servant and is the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, the first female to occupy this position (from August 1, 2018- ) and first female deputy director of the International Labour OrganizationSalim Ahmed Salim
Salim Ahmed Salim (Arabic: سليم احمد سليم, Urdu: سلیم احمد سلیم, Swahili: Salim Ahmad Salim, born 23 January 1942) is a Tanzanian politician and diplomat who has worked in the international diplomatic arena since the early 1960s.Single African Air Transport Market
The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a project of the African Union to create a single market for air transport in Africa. Once completely in force, the single market is supposed to allow significant freedom of air transport in Africa, advancing the AU's Agenda 2063.Primarily, the goal of the SAATM is to fully implement the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision. This means that all participants agree to lift market access restrictions for airlines, remove restrictions on ownership, grant each other extended air traffic rights (first through fifth freedoms, not affecting cabotage rights), and liberalise flight frequency and capacity limits. Both passenger and cargo aviation are included. It also seeks to harmonise safety and security regulations in aviation, based on ICAO requirements. Oversight over the SAATM is exercised by the African Union, its Regional Economic Communities and dedicated sub-institutions for supervision and dispute settlement.
African Union (AU)