President Uhuru Kenyatta left the country on Tuesday for Morocco to attend the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – also known as COP22.
State House said that the conference will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change which Kenya is a signatory.
However, it emerged that the trip was more than just to attend the conference as Uhuru was targeting his colleagues to seek votes for Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.
“HAPPENING NOW-President @UKenyatta flying to Morocco for Climate summit and to canvass for @AMB_A_Mohammed who running to be chair of @AUC,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu posted on his Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The statement from State House said that while in Morocco, Uhuru was also expected to join close to 40 heads of state and government at Africa Action Summit that was to be held on the sidelines of COP22.
“The summit will discuss Africa’s roadmap for the implementation of the Paris climate change agreement,” State House said.
The President was expected to lobby for the election of Amina as African Union Commission chair; in what would be a second leg of shuttle diplomacy to ensure Kenya secures the seat.
Morocco’s membership to the AU is under consideration, being the only country out of the 54 African states, that was not a member of the group.
Amina is eyeing the post of the African Union Commission chairperson, for which Kenya has put up spirited and well-funded campaigns.
Deputy President William Ruto has already been to Chad, DRC, Nigeria, Algeria, Liberia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone and Gabon.
Yesterday, Defence CS Rachel Omamo was in Burundi where she met the country’s President and delivered Uhuru’s request for Amina’s support.
Energy CS Charles Keter was in Lesotho on Saturday while his Public Service and Youth colleague Sicily Kariuki visited Guinea and Niger.
Last week, Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri was in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
On Saturday, East African Community foreign ministers endorsed Amina as their candidate during a meeting held in Nairobi.
Nineteen Comesa countries have pledged their support but it is not guaranteed because Amina is contesting against Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.
She requires votes from at least 35 of the 53 member countries for her bid to occupy the seat to succeed.