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Full speed ahead! Mudavadi rolls out gov't campaign machinery to back Raila

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi underscored the strategic importance of Raila Odinga's candidacy for Kenya

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi with former PM Raila Odinga during a joint press conference on June 5, 2024

Prime Cabinet Secretary in charge of Foreign Affairs Musalia Mudavadi, and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced a strategic campaign for Odinga’s candidacy for the African Union (AU) Commission Chair.

This announcement comes as the deadline for regional nominations approaches, marking a significant step for Kenya in the international arena.

Mudavadi, addressing the media, emphasised the importance of inter-regional rotation and the opportunity for Eastern Africa to nominate a candidate for the AU Commission Chair.

He outlined the meticulous preparations undertaken by the State Department for Foreign Affairs, which includes a dedicated campaign secretariat.

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The secretariat's responsibilities range from preparing campaign materials to organizing a live public debate scheduled six months before the election date.

"The campaign involves outreach programs to capitals of AU member states, briefing of Kenya missions abroad, and engagements with the diplomatic corps in Nairobi," Mudavadi stated.

He expressed confidence in Raila Odinga's credentials, highlighting his passion for advocating Africa's interests globally.

Taking the stage, Raila Odinga reiterated his commitment to serving the continent, leveraging his extensive experience and relationships across Africa.

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Odinga, who previously served as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development, highlighted the need for improved infrastructure, reduced trade barriers, and enhanced inter-African trade.

"I am a pan-Africanist and an Afro-optimist. I believe in the ability of the African people to develop Africa. Our continent is rich in resources yet poor in development. This paradox needs to be addressed," Odinga remarked.

He stressed the importance of coordinated efforts to develop infrastructure, including highways, rail networks, and open skies agreements, to facilitate easier movement and trade across the continent.

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"A prosperous Kenya is dependent on a prosperous Africa. Raila Odinga's leadership at the AU will champion issues that affect the African continent, benefiting Kenya as well," he noted.

In response to questions about the potential impact of Kenya's stance on international issues, such as its position on Israel and Palestine, Mudavadi affirmed Kenya's commitment to a peaceful resolution and a two-state solution.

He emphasised that Kenya's foreign policy aims to balance national interests with broader continental and global dynamics.

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The campaign for the AU Commission Chair is set against a backdrop of multiple candidates from the Eastern African region, including Somalia and Djibouti.

Mudavadi acknowledged the competitive landscape but expressed confidence in Odinga's candidacy, citing the ongoing diplomatic efforts by President Ruto and other senior government officials to garner support across the continent.

Odinga also addressed concerns that he was being supported by the government in he hope that he will not give the administration a big headache as the opposition leader.

"I decided to offer myself to serve the continent. My candidacy is not about settling domestic political scores but about advocating for Africa's interests," he clarified.

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Both Mudavadi and Odinga articulated a vision of a united, cohesive, and developed Africa, driven by its citizens.

They emphasized the need for strategic reforms within the AU, improved infrastructure, and enhanced trade relations to achieve this vision.

"Kenya envisions an AU that drives the continent beyond silencing the guns to achieving sustainable peace and security for collective prosperity," Mudavadi concluded.

As the campaign progresses, the Kenyan government and Odinga's team are preparing for a rigorous electoral process, hoping to secure the position that will enable Kenya to play a pivotal role in shaping Africa's future.

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