Next AU Commission chairperson will be from Eastern Africa

African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The next chairperson of the African Union Commission will likely come from Eastern Africa.  

This follows a communique by AU that has given the nod to the Eastern region to submit candidates for the highly contested position. 

The decision was arrived at after the conclusion of the Executive Council Ministerial meeting which decided on the rotation of elective posts of senior leadership of the AU Commission, to ensure all five regions have a fair chance.

So far, two candidates from Eastern Africa have expressed interest in the seat, including Kenya's Opposition leader Raila Odinga, and Somalia's former Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Adam.

On the other hand, the Nothern region is to submit candidates for the position of deputy chairperson.

To ensure gender parity in the exercise, both regions are allowed to submit male and female candidates, should a man be elected as chairperson then the deputy post will be held by a woman, and vice versa.

The Western, Central, and Southern regions are open to submitting candidates for the remaining six commissioners’ positions.

The senior leadership of the African Union is usually elected to serve for a four-year term, with the option for re-election.

Since the transition of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the AU in 2002, the Commission has conducted five elections.

The first Commission served from 2003 to 2008 and the current fifth Commission was elected in 2021 and is due to complete its term in 2025.

A High-level panel of Eminent Africans will oversee the pre-selection assessment process and candidates' shortlisting before the February 2025 elections.