I asked to leave African Union role, Raila Odinga says

Raila Odinga says he had asked to leave his role as AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Raila Odinga now says he had asked to exit his African Union High Representative for Infrastructure and Development role, citing availability challenges.

In a circular dated February 23, 2023, addressed to AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki, Odinga said he had notified of his intention to be freed of the role to pursue more urgent matters.

"During our meeting on the sidelines of the second Dakar African Infrastructure Financing Summit in Dakar, Senegal about three weeks ago, I indicated the challenges to my continued availability for the role of AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa. In that regard. I welcome your quick action that will free me to pursue other pressing and urgent matters," Odinga wrote.

The former Premier, who assumed the role in 2018, challenged the continent's leadership to have Africa's best interests at heart.

"I am proud to have made a contribution to the transformation of the NEPAD Agency to the African Union Development Agency, among other contributions during my tenure. Many challenges remain, including the inaction by the Continent's leadership and vested interests outside the Continent that are only too keen to keep Africa in its present condition. Hopefully, the continent will overcome these," he said.

Earlier, The Standard reported that Odinga's five-year tenure had ended.

AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki said Odinga exhibited exceptional leadership during his tenure as special envoy.

"Your role in this journey, excellency, has been invaluable. Allow me to express my profound gratitude for accepting to serve in this role during the transition period, which has now come to a happy conclusion," Faki said.