, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta departs for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Saturday for the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, and a number of associated meetings.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu says he expects the visit to advance some key policy goals, both for Kenya and for the continent.
“President Kenyatta will participate in the election of the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson as well as other commissioners of the African Union’s top organ. Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed is one of the candidates vying for the position of AUC Chairperson.”
As current chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism, the President will also review the progress under the latest round of reviews, while overseeing the extension of the mechanism to new members, and sharing Kenya’s experience with the organisation.
“While at the APRM Summit, the President will also contribute to the discussion on the latest review of Kenya’s progress. That Kenya has opened itself to examination by its peers in this way is proof of the priority this administration places on openness, and also serves as an example to other nations,” a statement from Esipisu said.
President Kenyatta will be among the leaders considering the report of the AU’s Peace and Security Council, as well as the draft AU Roadmap to Silencing the Guns by 2020.
“President Kenyatta will make clear his view that it’s time to get back on track, and that the most promising start to that process is to implement fully the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the AU Master Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns by the year 2020. He will urge their adoption, and enforcement.”
President Kenyatta will also defend the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, which, in his view, remains the best hope for dealing with the security, political and socio-economic challenges facing South Sudan.
“Equally, he will make clear that the Jubilee administration remains resolute in its commitment to the South Sudan Peace Process, and that it will continue to contribute to the peace process at the bilateral level, and through IGAD and the African Union.”
An overarching theme of the Assembly will be the importance of harnessing the demographic dividend of youth. Kenya has some policy successes to show, as independent analysts have recently emphasised.
“We will look to share our experience in affirmative action – setting aside certain portions of procurement, as well as empowerment funds, for youth – with a continental audience, while looking to learn from them in turn.”
President Kenyatta will then meet a number of global and regional leaders while at the Summit.