Date:30 Jan 2017
Africa: AU Votes As EAC-Backed Amina Eyes Top Post
By Zephania Ubwani
Kampala — African Union (AU) leaders, currently in Addis Ababa for their twice a year summit, will today vote for a new chairperson of its Commission, a position eyed by Kenyan cabinet secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Amina Mohamed.
With the backing of the East African Community (EAC) and shuttle diplomacy across Africa by Kenya government representatives, the 56-year-old diplomat and politician is upbeat to win the top post also contested by four other candidates, three of them from the Francophone/Spanish speaking zone.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, was forced to abandon the election campaigns now heating up in his country to travel to the Ethiopian capital on Saturday apparently to lobby for the election of his cabinet secretary.
The Kenyan leader's lobbying strategies for Ms Mohamed is likened to what Mwalimu Julius Nyerere did in 1989 when as former Tanzanian president and an influential leader in the continent led an "army' of Tanzanian official to successfully campaign for the election of Salim Ahmed Salim as the secretary general of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), a position he held for 12 years.
Kenyan diplomats have been around several African capitals seeking support from the AU member countries for their candidate for the post which is crucial for the day-to-day running of body which oversees the unity and development agenda for the continent.