Panel of the Wise

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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. [1]

Contents

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).

the PanAfrican Network of the Wise (PanWise)

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.

Guiding Principles:

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.

Members of the Panel of the Wise from June 2014 to May 2016

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.

Members 20072010

The first members, appointed in 2007, were: [2]

RegionMemberCountryDescriptionRole 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

Current Members of the Friends of the Panel (former Members)

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:

RegionMemberCountryDescriptionRole 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)
NorthTBAFriend
West Elisabeth K. Pognon Benin President of the Constitutional Court in Benin Friend (2nd & last time)
EastTBAFriend
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)

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References

  1. "AU Launches 'Panel of the Wise'". .voanews.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2013-09-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)