East African Community (EAC) ministers have thrown their weight behind the candidature of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed for the African Union Commission chair.
The ministers, who met Amb Mohamed on Saturday evening, expressed their willingness to support one of their own for the top AU job.
In a statement read by Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, the ministers resolved to collectively campaign and lobby other AU countries for support.
This comes even as Deputy President William Ruto returned to the country from a multiple-state charm offensive of West African countries.
The AU elections held in July this year did not produce a winner after the four candidates failed to secure a two-thirds majority required to settle the contest.
During the vote, Foreign Affairs Ministers Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea and Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal and Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi made it to the last round, while Uganda’s former Vice President, Specisoza Kazibwe, was knocked out in the first round with 11 votes.
If elected, Amina will be succeeding South African Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma, the first woman to lead the continental body whose term expires in January
While launching her bid early November, President Uhuru Kenyatta described Amina as an experienced consensus builder.
“I believe that we have a lady of courage and valour. Mine is to request you to lend your support for the candidature of Amb Amina with a promise that you will get a servant who will work for each one of us,” he said.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has also pledged its support for Amb Mohamed’s candidature for AU’s top post.
Ms Mohammed rose through the ranks in Kenya’s diplomatic service from a legal officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the highest level of Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the UN in Geneva.
In her time as Foreign Minister, Kenya has hosted a number of global high level events including the WTO 10 Ministerial Conference, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) among others.
The foreign affairs CS says that she aims to champion economic emancipation of the continent if elected AU chair.
“I will strive to ensure that Africa’s dignity is never tampered with if elected as the chairperson. I will ensure the African Union delivers a better life for Africans,” she said.
“We (Africans) have been politically emancipated. We are working hard to ensure we are economically emancipated. We also need to ensure that our institutions, systems and mechanisms are emancipated and that is what I hope you will allow me to work on,” she added.
Alleastafrica and Citizen