African leaders positive of CS Amina’s AU chair candidature – PSCU


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President Uhuru Kenyatta (in black suit) holds talks with Togolese President H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé on the sidelines of the Lomé Conference.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed’s candidature for the position of the African Union (AU) Commission Chair has been received positively by African leaders, according to a statement from Presidential Communications Strategic Unit (PSCU).

President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to have separately held bilateral talks with eight Heads of State and Government on the sidelines of the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa in Lome, Togo to drum up support for CS Amina.

The leaders, according to PSCU, have indicated their receptiveness to Kenya’s candidature for the top post of the AU Commission.

The leaders included Presidents Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (Mali), Alpha Condé (Guinea), John Dramani Mahama (Ghana) and Idriss Déby (Chad) who is also the Chairman of AU. Others were Presidents Alassane Ouattara (Ivory Coast), Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo Brazaville) and Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal of Algeria.

In an interview in Lome, CS Amina said Kenya was considered a good member of the African community of nations and was why “there was a lot of receptiveness to our candidature”.

But she pointed out that the AU Commission Chair was an elective position and required energy and commitment to win it.

“And that is why it was important for the President to have discussions with the leaders on the candidature even though he had sent out letters to them,” the CS said, adding that the leaders discussed not only her candidature but also other issues of importance Kenya and their respective countries.

The Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary said she was vying for the position because it was time for Kenya to provide a candidate that will unite the continent.

“My credentials, especially in building consensus and carrying out reforms, are critical in bringing everybody together,” Amina said.

Amina’s was elected President of UNCTAD 14 for the next 4 years, was the Chairperson of the historic WTO 10th Ministerial Conference and Co-Chairperson of the Ministerial segment of the first TICAD Summit to be held in Africa.

She is the first woman to have chaired the World Trade Organization; the Trade Policy Body, the Dispute Settlement Body and the Governing General Council of the WTO.

The Foreign Affairs CS has also served as President of the Conference on Disarmament, and the first African and the first female Chairperson of the Council of the International Organisation for Migration.

In 2010, Amina was elected President of the U.N. International Conference on Transnational Crime in Vienna, Austria for a two year period before she was appointed by the UN Secretary General as U.N. Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2011.

On October 3, President Kenyatta nominated CS Amina to vie for the position of AU Commission Chair.

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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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