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Kenyan Minister contests African Union Commission Chairmanship

Amina Mohamed, one of five candidates vying for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), has promised to provide opportunities for Africans to grow, to prosper and to live in dignity.

The Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a New Year’s message to Africans, promised: “Our priority should be to our people.

“This is a sacred call of duty that can only be accomplished together, without leaving anyone behind.

“A leader is not one who makes the farthest strides to the front but one who brings everyone along to the desired destination.

“That is the approach that we must embrace in order to build the Africa of our dreams.”
Ms Mohamed added: “This must be our vision and action as we embark in the New Year to shape the common destiny of Mother Africa and the destiny of the African people.”
The current Chairperson of the AUC, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa, announced last year that she was stepping down after one term of four years, which she began in 201 but at the last AU Summit, the heads of state failed to find a replacement.

The leaders will try again this month to find a successor to Mrs Dlamini-Zuma at their gathering in Addis Ababa.

The other candidates are Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the Foreign Minister of Botswana who is the second female candidate, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Foreign Minister of Chad, Agapito Mba Mokuy, Foreign Minister of Equatorial Guinea, and Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye who is the special UN envoy for Central Africa.

Ms Mohamed, who has been on a tour of more than 40 African countries since she was nominated by her government last September, said, “As I traversed the continent, I have encountered the genuine spirit of our people, their generosity, warmth, kindness, resilience and optimism.

“While this beauty and diversity is so endearing, our people are unable to experience its depth due to shortage of links to aid the movement of people, goods, services and capital,” she added.

Ms Mohamed said, “Enabling interaction among our people and especially our youth is a debt that we owe to the present and future generations.

“We have to carry and pass on the baton of the founding fathers of this continent, who recognised the strength of collaboration and common dialogue during their younger years.

“Their interaction, aided by intellectual quest and the dream of a free and dignified Africa brought us liberation, freedom and political independence.

“Many paid the ultimate price to grant us the freedom we thrive in today,” Ms Mohamed said.

She noted that “The possibilities of Africa’s growth and prosperity are real”, adding, “We represent the world’s second fastest growing consumer market with a rapidly growing labour and market base.

“We are a global hub of innovation, entrepreneurial talent and creativity.

“African youth are taking advantage of available resources to curve out transposable solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.

“In sum, our youth are our currency and this century is theirs and Africa’s.

“To harness their potential, we must collaborate both politically and economically.

“We must work in partnership and integrate in a manner that catalyses Africa’s synergy and diversity,” she added. GNA

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