Kenya: Kenyan candidate for AU post winds up campaign in Guinea Bissau

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenya's candidate for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Amina Mohamed, was set to wind up her campaign in Guinea Bissau and Benin after visiting 50 other African Union member states, a Kenyan minister spearheading her campaign team said Monday.

Fred Matiang’i, Kenyan Education minister chairing a cabinet sub-committee spearheading the campaign, said after repeat visits to some of the countries, Nairobi was optimistic of victory.

“We have run a professional and clean campaign in line with our vision and are very confident that we are on track to success,” Matiang’i told reporters in Nairobi.

The election for the position is due to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 28th Assembly of the AU Heads of State on 30-31 January, crowning the end of one of Africa’s most illustrious campaigns so far to succeed the incumbent, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who opted to retirement.

“Our cabinet sub-committee strongly felt that our campaign would be informed by the need to unify the continent by a genuine consultative approach to achieve consensus and by a high degree of ethics and integrity,” Matiang’i said.

Kenya’s candidature for the AUC Chairperson position has recently gained popularity with the Southern Africa regional bloc.

The strong 19-member state regional bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has been instrumental in previous diplomatic victories for Kenya.

“It was extremely important that Kenya reaches out to every member state, without exception, to seek their support for our candidate,” Matiang’i said.

The Kenyan candidate is set to meet special envoys who have gone around the continent lobbying other heads of state.

Critics of the campaign claim a diplomatic victory for Mohamed would further embolden impunity, especially given the candidate’s strong sense of drive against the International Criminal Court.

However, the Kenyan government said the decision to propose its best diplomat for the AU position was based on Nairobi’s belief in a stronger and united Africa as sought by Africa’s founding leaders.

“As a member of the AU, Kenya should continue to contribute to the objectives and success of the institution not only materially but also by offering its best talent to lead the institution,” Matiang’i said.

“The African Union needs a new leader who has the respect of the international community. A leader who had experience in leading global organisations, a leader who had a proven record of attracting investment into the continent, a leader who has negotiated improved trade agreements and impacted millions of lives on the continent.”

According to Kenyan authorities, Mohamed has a proven record in matters of good governance and respects constitutionalism and has been a consummate diplomat with both vision and action.

-0- PANA AO/AR 23Jan2017

23 january 2017 19:01:55

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