, ADDIS ABABA, Feb 1 — President Uhuru Kenyatta has returned to Kenya after the close of the 26th African Union Summit during which Africa’s engagement with the ICC and regional security concerns were given priority.
During the Summit, President Kenyatta succeeded in convincing the Heads of State and Government in adopting proposals concerning the International Criminal Court, which included the planned development of a road map for a mass withdrawal from the Rome Statute.
The Kenya government also played a major role in pushing for the AU to refocus on strengthening the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) so that the forces can deal better with the terrorists threatening the entire region.
During the Summit, Kenya was elected to become a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council. The other members of the Peace and Security Council will be Nigeria, Egypt, Zambia and Congo.
The AU has also tasked the African Union Group at the United Nations to engage the UN Secretary General on the new UNEP director. Three candidates from Africa are vying with Kenya lobbying for the Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, to become the new UNEP director.
Kenya is also lobbying, through the AU, for Senator Amos Wako to become a Member of the United Nations International Law Commission during elections scheduled to coincide with the 61st UN General Assembly.
President Kenyatta, who went to Addis Ababa on January 29th, also held many fruitful bilateral meetings with leaders including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
On Sunday, the President held bilateral talks with the President of Guinea Alpha Conde who requested Kenya’s support in developing his country’s tourism sector.
President Conde sought Kenya’s support in skills and knowledge to develop and grow the economy of Guinea.
President Kenyatta assured President Conde of Kenya’s readiness to support Guinea in transforming its economy and announced that a team of Government officials will be dispatched to the West African country soon to assess its needs.
President Conde thanked Kenya for the role it played in rallying Africans to come to the aid of West African countries to control the Ebola disease.
Earlier in the day, President Kenyatta attended a meeting hosted by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to discuss the Smart Africa initiative, which is aimed at promote ICT as a driver for socio-economic growth. President Kenyatta announced that Kenya is committed to support the initiative and will soon post an official to the headquarters of SMART Africa in Kigali, Rwanda.
President Kenyatta held another meeting with the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, with whom he reviewed the bank’s work in Kenya.
President Kenyatta and Mr Adesina discussed the bank’s support for infrastructure development, which is the backbone of Kenya’s development.
The President also held a bilateral meeting with the President of Djibouti, Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh, with whom he discussed issues of mutual interest for the two countries including security.
On Saturday, President Kenyatta held a meeting with Ban Ki-Moon, with whom he discussed the role of AMISOM in Somalia and the need for a review of the mandate of the forces.
He also held also held a bilateral meeting with Namibian President Hage Geingob to discuss trade relations between Kenya and Namibia.
On Friday, the President chaired a special summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism during which he got commitments from Heads of State and Government that Africa will revive the peer review process for better governance.