Mudavadi backs East Africa's quest for AU leadership

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi. [Wilbeforce Okwiri, Standard]

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has exuded confidence that East Africa will produce the next chairperson of the African Union (AU) in 2024.

Mudavadi said the region is ripe for the position and will nominate a candidate in next year’s elections.

He made the remarks during a media briefing on the sidelines of the 44th ordinary session of the AU’s Executive Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“South, Central and West Africa have had a share in serving as chair at various times since 2002. East and North Africa are yet to have that opportunity,” he said.

The meeting precedes the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State & Government from AU member states, which will take place on Febraury 17 and 18 2024.

President William Ruto is expected to attend the summit, whose theme is preparing Africans through education for the 21st Century.

Mudavadi said East Africa will present a strong case for the chairmanship through consultations among its member states.

His sentiments come after Azimio leader Raila Odinga declared his intention to vie for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, promising to bring social and economic change to the continent if elected.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, February 15, Raila said he was ready to offer his services to the leadership of Africa, having gained experience and networks as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.

“I have served the AU in the capacity of Infrastructure High Representative and the position gave me a good advantage to be able to learn about each and every country, what they have, and their comparative advantages. I believe working together with all these countries we can be able to transform Africa,” he said.

“I am inclined to accept the challenge. The leadership of Africa is worth my services. I am ready and offer myself to be of service to the continent,” he added.

Mudavadi also stressed on the need for African nations to ensure peace and security for their citizens, especially in the face of global disruptions and humanitarian crises.

“Peace is key to every step towards prosperity within the society, not only economically but also socially. There are no winners in wars and there are no losers where there is peace,” he said.

He also highlighted the benefits of AU’s participation in the Group of 20 (G20) and the importance of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

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