Kenya has launched a major diplomatic campaign aimed at getting votes for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed to become the next African Union Commission chairperson.
The post is currently held by South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who was elected in July 2012 for a four-year term.
Deputy President William Ruto is on a whirlwind tour of seven countries in West Africa. Mohamed has accompanied the DP on the tour.
“He is travelling to West Africa to solidify votes for Foreign Affairs CS Mohamed after 19 Comesa countries endorsed her,” David Mugonyi, the Communication Secretary at the DP’s Office, said.
“We have no doubt that if elected to the post, Mohamed will serve both her country and the continent as she has always done, with the highest level of excellence, ethics, integrity, passion and commitment.”
Ruto is in Chad, and will thereafter travel to Mali, Eritrea, DRC, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Egypt.
He will meet Presidents Idriss Déby of Chad, Ibrahim Keïta (Mali), Isaias Afwerki (Eritrea), Joseph Kabila (DRC), Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara, Ghana’s John Mahama and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
President Déby is the current chairman of the African Union. His country, Chad, has nominated its long serving Minister for Foreign Affairs Moussa Faki Mahamat for AUC chairperson.
The elections are scheduled for January 2017. Kenya will seek to strike a compromise with Chad.
Kenya and Chad enjoy warm and cordial relations though trade between the two countries is minimal with Kenya’s exports to Chad valued at Sh81,812,459, against imports from Chad at Sh115,399 in 2015.
Analysts believe the election will pick up momentum in January next year.
Travelling as a high-level special envoy, Ruto is delivering a message directly to heads of state to vote for Mohamed in January.