Clusters are considered to be the operational arms of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for greater alignment with the NEPAD Programme, the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme and and other AU priorities, and a vehicle for enhanced coordination of the support of the United Nations system. The number of clusters increased from five to seven in July 2004 and to nine in November 2006. Nine is the current number of clusters that exist today. Some of the clusters have several subclusters, which provide for further focus on specific agendas.
Each cluster/subcluster meeting is co-convened by a designated UN agency or organization and AUC.The internal collaboration may differ from one cluster to another; however, each cluster organizes at least one meeting per year to discuss and ensure coordinated support to the AU, its institutions and programmes in areas of common interest and goals. The report of each cluster on joint activities is submitted to the annual session of RCM-Africa.
RCM-Africa Clusters are as follows:
1. Governance: Consists of four subclusters – economic and corporate governance; human rights; public service and administration; democracy and elections.
2. Science and technology: Focuses on capacity-building; knowledge production; and technological innovation.
3. Infrastructure development: Comprises four subclusters – energy; information and communications technology; transport; and water, sanitation and hygiene.
4. Social and human development: Has six sub-clusters – health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases; education and human resources; gender, youth and development; social welfare, protection and human trafficking; labour and employment; and sports and culture.
5. Agriculture, food security and rural development: the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme provides the overarching framework for this cluster.
6. Peace and security: Consists of four subclusters – peace and security architecture of the African Union; post-conflict reconstruction and development; emergency preparedness and response; and transitional justice.
7. Environment, population and urbanization: Consists of subclusters addressing the challenges of growing populations and the movement of people; rapid growth of towns; environmental degradation and pollution; and the lack of demographic statistics.
8. Advocacy and communication: Promotes greater understanding of NEPAD globally, builds support for NEPAD among Africans and the international community, and promotes the work of the United Nations in support of NEPAD.
9. Industry, trade and market access: Promotes the development of agro-industries and agri-business in Africa.