Boost for Kenya as Comesa backs Amina’s AU candidature

The endorsement came after Deputy President William Ruto attended the 19th Comesa Heads of State and Government Summit in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

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Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed African Union’s chairperson candidacy received a major boost as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) members endorsed her bid.

Ruto used the summit to  lobby the other Comesa countries to support the candidature of CS Amina.

During the summit, the member countries made it clear that they believed that her long experience of diplomacy, her proven experience working with multilateral organisations, and her successful stint as Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs all made her the best candidate to advance Africa's Agenda.

Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy have been lobbying various leaders across the continent in the hope that Amina will clinch the seat during the January 2017 elections.

The aim for Kenya is to get at least two-thirds majority in the first round.

Last week, President Kenyatta met eight leaders on the margins of the AU summit on maritime security in Togo to discuss support for Amb. Mohammed.

Distinguished career

The CS has since 2013 played a pivotal role in President Kenyatta’s administration.

Ms Mohamed will now face it off with Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea, Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal and Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi for the powerful continental position.

Born in 1961, Ms Amina has had an illustrious career, having worked as a Deputy Executive Director at the United Nations before joining the Kenyan cabinet in 2013.

She has also previously served as Chairwoman of the International Organization for Migration and the World Trade Organisation's General Council.

Under Ms Amina’s tenure at the helm of the foreign office, Kenya has benefited from a number of high-profile visits from powerful global leaders as well as playing host to several international conferences.

Most notably were the visits of US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis last year. Other leaders who have visited the country in the last few months include Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Indian PM Narendra Modi, and South Korean President Park Geun Hye.

Kenya has already hosted the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference.

Her persuasive shuttle diplomacy gave rise to a united African coalition that vehemently opposed the trial of African leaders at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.

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