, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 30 – Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat was named Monday as the new AU Commission chairperson, beating four others to succeed South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, diplomats told AFP.
Several delegates leaving the election hall confirmed the win, while grinning Chadian delegates hugged each other in celebration.
Former Burundian president Pierre Buyoya confirmed Faki’s victory, telling AFP it came after a final round battle with Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed.
The 56-year-old former prime minister has been at the forefront of the fight against Islamists in Nigeria, Mali and the Sahel and has promised “development and security” will be top of his agenda as chief of the continental bloc.
He said he dreams of an Africa where the “sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories” and pledged to streamline the bureaucratic AU during his four-year term in office.
Member states elected him after seven rounds of voting, according to a statement from Kenya congratulating him on his victory.
Other losing candidates were from Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Senegal.