Inside The African Union Commission Chairperson Race

ByJacob Ochiro
Published on: Jun 11, 2024 01:06
Photo |Courtesy

The race for the African Union Commission Chairperson is heating up having attracted a total of four candidates so far from Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, and Seychelles for the election scheduled for February 2025.

The candidates are former Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Somalia Minister for Foreign Affairs Fawzia Yusuf Adam, Djibouti Foreign Affairs Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, and former Seychelles Vice President Vincent Meriton.

Current Chairperson Moussa Faki is going to retire after serving a total of two terms. Faki hails from Chad which is in Central Africa. In March, the AU heads of State approved a proposal suggesting that the seat should be held on a rotational basis with East Africa being considered in next year’s election.

The gender clause was also removed in a strategic move that was seen to accommodate Raila Odinga. Seychelles were the latest nation from the larger East African region to front a candidate. Next year's election will serve as a test for the Eastern Africa regional integration.

Raila has since won endorsement from Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, some of which have come as a result of President William Ruto’s campaigns for him.

Last week, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi held a joint press conference with Raila Odinga to publicly show the government’s support for Odinga’s bid.

Raila unveiled a task force to help him in his campaigns which includes Dr. Caroline Karugu who was one of Raila’s agents at Bomas in 2022, Prof Makau Mutua who was Azimio’s Spokesperson, Ambassador Anthony Okara, Ambassador Elkanah Odembo and Ambassador Mahboub Maalim.

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