, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12- Nineteen Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa countries have backed the African Union Commission chairperson candidature of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
The elections are slated for January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the headquarters of the African Union.
President Mohamud Buhari of Nigeria is among African leaders who have assured of their support to candidacy of the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary.
The latest endorsement comes in the wake of a similar seal of approval from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Algeria.
In Algeria, Senate President Ben Saleh Abdalkader told Deputy President William Ruto, who has been on a mission in several African countries that his country will back Ambassador Mohamed.
“It’s inspiring that African nations can speak in one voice in matters of mutual interest including integration and intra-African trade,” the Deputy President said. “We front Amina Mohammed for the AU chairperson post because we see in her a champion of intra-African trade and investment.”
“We know madam Amina’s potential based on her experience and we assure you that we will give her full support for the position of AU Commission chairperson,” said Saleh when he met the Deputy President in Algiers.
On his part, Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma pledged his country’s support.
“We know we have a candidate from an ECOWAS member state but we know Amina has what it takes to steer the commission and the Africa agenda within the AU,” said President Koroma during a meeting with the DP in Free Town.
Amb Amina’s credentials include being the first woman to lead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya.
She was elected President of UNCTAD 14 for the next 4 years, was the Chairperson of the historic WTO 10th Ministerial Conference and Co-Chairperson of the Ministerial segment of the first TICAD Summit to held in Africa.
Amb Amina is the first woman to have chaired the three most important bodies of the World Trade Organization; the Trade Policy Body, the Dispute Settlement Body and the Governing General Council of the WTO.
She has served as President of the Conference on Disarmament, and the first African and the first female Chairperson of the Council of the International Organisation for Migration.
In 2010, Amb Amina was elected President of the U.N. International Conference on Transnational Crime in Vienna, Austria for a two year period. In 2011, she was appointed by the UN Secretary General as U.N. Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).