The African Union Commission’s Chairperson Election Race: The Amina Case

By Juma Fred / January 12, 2017


Africa is like a sleeping lion with immense potential. This sleeping lion needs someone to cane it on its backside so that it can roar back to life and unleash its power.

It has been almost half a century since most African states became independent from their colonial masters, yet many countries are facing even more economic problems than during the days of colonialism.

Africa has huge potential largely due to our demographics. More than 60 percent of the population in Africa is made up of young energetic men and women. Unfortunately, this vibrant generation has to struggle with poverty, unemployment and other avoidable issues.

The dream of having one united Africa, one in which there is stronger integration, cooperation, collaboration and committed leadership, is becoming more distant by the day.

Democracy is rarely practiced and tends to only exist solely on paper in some African states. For example, in Gambia, despite an electoral vote, it is the incumbent who decides whether to hand over power or not.

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The African Union (AU) has been accused of casting a blind eye on these issues. People have blamed the AU of turning into an organization that only takes care of the welfare of African Heads of States and not Africans as a whole.

Africa, therefore, needs a cure. Africa needs someone at the helm of the African Union; someone with a vision and mission to lead this continent in the right direction both socially and economically.  

That person is Ambassador (Dr.) Amina Mohammed, the current Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs; a candidate who has broad experience and has demonstrated distinguished service at both national and international levels.  

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Throughout her three-decade long career in public service, Dr. Amina Mohamed has achieved a lot of firsts which have her earned her international acclaim and respect including:

  • She was elected President of UNCTAD 14 for the next four years; was the Chairperson of the historic WTO 10th Ministerial Conference and Co-Chairperson of the ministerial segment of the first ever TICAD Summit held on the African continent
  • She is the first woman to have chaired the three most important bodies of the World Trade Organisation; the Trade Policy Body; the Dispute Settlement Body and the Governing General Council of the WTO
  • She was President of the Conference on Disarmament, and the first African and the first female Chairperson of the Council of the International Organization for Migration

Kenya under Dr. Amina’s leadership has undeniably entered its golden years.  In less than four years in office, she has been able to reshape and reboot Kenya’s global image and rewritten its international narrative. Now in 2017, Kenya is at the forefront of the continent, with an amplified role as a vibrant democracy and unparalleled regional hub for conferencing, trade, investment (spanning from the West to the East) and innovation.

If successful in the upcoming election, her key focus areas for the continent will include: furthering Agenda 2063; economic and political collaboration; industrialization and innovation; advocating for youth and women and establishing greater peace and security across the continent. She stands for a Commission that will work for the full realization of the objectives of a people-centered African Union that is internationally respected, financially independent, economically prosperous, closely integrated and singularly responsive to the needs and wishes of all the African people; leaving no one behind. To date, she has received 25 endorsements from across including:

“We know we have a candidate from an ECOWAS member state but we know Amina has what it takes to steer the commission and the Africa agenda within the AU,” Sierra Leone President, Ernest Koroma.

“I have interacted with Ambassador Amina on several occasions and I know that she is capable of bringing positive change to our region and the African Union” Hon. Francis Lazalo Kasaila, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Malawi.

“She is the best woman for the job, and she is very much Rwanda’s candidate. She is highly qualified, has incredible diplomatic and managerial experience, and the right heart and mind when it comes to the strategic interests of our continent, as well as Africa’s active presence on the global scene,” Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Ms Louise Mushikiwabo.

 



About Juma Fred

Juma Fredrick is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.

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