Raila Odinga lands new job as AU special envoy

After months of speculations of an imminent role as an African Union envoy, ODM leader Raila Odinga (pictured) was on Saturday appointed High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.

Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting the decision, said it was part of their expedition to integrate Africa through infrastructure.

“His mandate includes mobilizing further political support from Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders,” he said in a statement.

The new role will see Raila Odinga work to support and strengthen AU’s departments and those of the Planning and Coordinating Agency of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

“Raila will pay particular attention to the missing links along the transnational highway corridors identified as part of the Trans-African Highways Network, with a view to facilitating their development and modernization,” added Mahamat.

Rich experience

In the statement, AU says Raila brings with him a rich political experience and strong commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and African integration, as well as a deep knowledge of infrastructure development.

Raila served as Energy, Roads, Public Works, and Housing minister between 2001 and 2005.

The former Prime Minister announced that he has accepted his appointment by African Union Commision. Raila has served in a number of critical positions in a career spanning more than forty years.

As a special envoy of the AU chairperson, Raila will have an office in Addis but with frequent travel across the continent. He will mediate in peace negotiations and conflict resolution.

Raila will also have a fully-furnished office in Nairobi, with staff and advisers to boost his local presence and unity programmes with Uhuru.