Opposition leader Raila Odinga has landed a new role at the African Union (AU)
The AU appointed the ODM leader as High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa on Saturday
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has landed a new role at the African Union (AU).
The AU appointed the ODM leader as High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa on Saturday.
AU Chairperson Moussa MahamatÂ said the move is expected to bolster economic growth in Africa.
"This decision is part of the African Unionâ€™s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development.
"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,â€ Mahamat said in a statement.
Raila will work to support and strengthen the efforts of the Commissionâ€™s relevant Departments and those of the Planning and Coordinating Agency of the New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development (NEPAD), within the framework of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
PIDA was endorsed by the Assembly of the Union in January 2012.
The NASA leaderâ€™s mandate includes mobilising further political support from Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent.
â€œHe will also support the Commission and NEPAD initiatives to encourage increased commitment from development partners,â€ Mahamatâ€™s statement added.
Â â€œThe Chairperson of the Commission expresses appreciation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his support to this decision, consistent with his commitment to African integration. He looks forward to the full cooperation of all Member States with the High Representative, as he carries out the mandate entrusted to him,â€ the statement concluded.
BELOW IS RAILA'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH:
Hon Raila Odinga wishes to thank the African Union Commission and the chairperson MoussaÂ Faki Mahamat for the appointment to the position of High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa earlier today.Â
Hon. Odinga regards the appointment as a great honour that he is ready to take up with dedication and humility, well aware of the challenges that come with it.Â
Hon Odinga further expresses deep appreciation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for the support and promises to do all in his power towards the realisation of the pan-African agenda that he and the president are passionate about.
Mr Odinga considers infrastructure, particularly roads and railways, running North to South, East to West of Africa, critical to opening up the Continent and making it the gateway to the 21st century.
With the support of all the relevant institutions and offices of the AU Commission and the Continentâ€™s partners that he promises to work closely with, Hon Odinga promises to use the position to push Africa closer to the realisation of the dreams of its founding fathers who envisaged a united and interconnected Continent that enjoys easy movement of goods and its citizens.
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