Down to the Wire for AU Chairperson Position

Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Tuesday February 2, 2017 (MFA Press) –The spirited campaign for election of Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to African Union Chairperson came to a close in Addis Ababa Ethiopia when her worthy competitor, Mr.  Mahamat Moussa Faki, wriggled out a win on the seventh round.

The Chadian was declared the winner after garnering 38 votes in the seventh solo-round having garnered 28 votes against Kenya’s 25 votes in the sixth round.

On behalf of the Government of Kenya, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu congratulated the new chairperson; “We congratulate him on a race well won. We pledge to work with him to defend the pan-African agenda of integration of Africa as well as democracy.”

Kenya’s Amb Amina ran a valiant race. Her candidacy marked the re-emergence of Kenya at the very heart of the pan-African project. Kenya is grateful for the strong campaign she ran, which put pan-African themes — of self-reliance, of sovereignty, of openness to trade — at its very heart.

The campaign was spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto together with a seven-man cabinet sub-committee headed by Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi, which  traversed the continent visiting a record 51 African countries.

The aim of the visits by the special envoys was to seek support and convince Africa that the Kenyan candidate was best qualified for the job and would make a difference at AUC.

Amb. Mohamed was nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta after wide consultations with other African Heads of State and Governments. He said that the government of Kenya believed that her experience and knowledge would promote consensus and drive African agenda forward.

Speaking during a luncheon hosted in her honour by Kenya Women Leaders at Intercontinental hotel on February 1, 2017, Amb. Mohamed said that “Kenya respects the sovereign decision of African Union member States and will uphold Pan African ideals as well as uphold strong positive relations with all AU member states notwithstanding the outcome of the AUC vote.”

The luncheon reviewed and celebrated Kenya’s brave contest for the AUC chair, noting that “our performance is an inspiration for young women seeking to break the glass ceiling in all areas of human endeavour,” Amb. Mohamed said, adding that “we should endeavour to bequeath upcoming generations of women a legacy greater than our heritage.

Other candidates in the race included Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson – Mitoi, Equitorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily.

In July 2016 the elections flopped after the candidates failed to garner the two-thirds majority vote in Kigali, Rwanda

AUC is the secretariat of the Union entrusted with executive functions. It is composed of 10 officials; A chairperson, a deputy Chairperson, eight commissioners and staff   members. It is made up of 8 portfolios namely; peace and security; political affairs; Trade and Industry; Infrastructure and Energy; Social Affairs; Rural Economic and Agriculture; Human Resource; Science and Technology; Economic Affairs.