COMESA states back CS Amina for top African Union post

October 18, 2016 4:58 pm
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Speaking at a dinner hosted by Deputy President William Ruto, four Ministers of Foreign Affairs from COMESA that include Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Rwanda expressed their support for Ambassador Mohamed/FILE
Speaking at a dinner hosted by Deputy President William Ruto, four Ministers of Foreign Affairs from COMESA that include Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Rwanda expressed their support for Ambassador Mohamed/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – A number of countries have supported the candidature of Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to the position of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

The member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) threw their weight behind Ambassador Mohamed in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by Deputy President William Ruto, four Ministers of Foreign Affairs from COMESA that include Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Rwanda expressed their support for Ambassador Mohamed.

They said she was best placed to steer the continent’s economic blue print, agenda 2063 and other reforms in the continental body and internationally.

Ethiopia’s Minister for Finance and Economic Cooperation Ahmed Shide noted that Ambassador Mohamed has had a long and distinguished career in Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry that has enabled her build experience and in-depth understanding of not only African issues, but also international affairs.

“I’m confident that she can serve our region well especially in peace building and continental integration. She is able, forthright and articulate and has our support,” Shide said.

On his part, Malawi’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Lazalo Kasaila said Malawi was confident Ambassador Mohamed can champion reforms in the continental body.

“I have interacted with Ambassador Mohamed on several occasions and I know that she is capable of bringing positive change to our region and the African Union,” he said.

Rwanda’s Francis Kanimba said her diplomatic acumen was evident when she successfully presided over several international meetings in Nairobi such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD).

“We in Rwanda made our support for Ambassador Amina immediately it was announced, and as an East African Community (EAC) member we feel very proud of her candidature,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Madagascar’s Minister for Industry and Private sector Development Chabani Nourdine who said his country had no reason not to support Kenya’s foreign minister.

Ruto thanked the ministers for their support of Kenya’s Foreign Minister and said Mohamed had proved to be an invaluable asset to the Government of Kenya.

“It was not an easy decision to let Amina go. She is an invaluable asset to the government of Kenya but because we believe in a bigger agenda, we think she can do better for Africa,” Ruto said.

He observed that the support of African countries had seen Kenya successfully host a number of international meetings in Nairobi most of which had changed the narrative that Africa is a continent of conflicts, disease and poverty.

He extolled her virtue saying she was among the architects of the continental economic blue print agenda 2063 that required someone with diplomatic knowhow at the apex of the body to galvanise and drive the progress of the continent like her.

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