Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has earned the support of the East African community in her candidature for the post of the chairperson of the African Union.
In a closed-door meeting at Kempinski hotel on Saturday, all the East African Foreign Affairs ministers unanimously vowed to rally behind Mohammed in her ambitions to clinch the prestigious post.
The ministers also directed the EAC secretariat to convey their decision to All African Regional Economic Communities with the aim of soliciting their backing.
The meeting was attended by ministers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.
CS Amina said she will organise a press conference at a later date to provide reasons why her candidature is important for Kenya.
Elections for the AU Chairperson post will take place in January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the headquarters of the African Union.
As we wait for Amina’s press conference, former TNA (The National Alliance Party) communication manager Pauline Njoroge has written on Facebook a post explaining how the common mwananchi would benefit should Amina be elected.
This was her post:
I have seen a few guys ask how it will benefit the common Kenyan citizen if Amina Mohammed becomes the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Let me start by saying that a country stands to gain or lose immensely depending on its diplomatic standing. Why do you think the US which is the World’s Super power lays so much emphasis on foreign policy? Why do you think its becoming very difficult for Britain to execute the exit from the European Union even after voting for it?
Let me come back to Kenya. As a country, we have immensely benefited from various diplomatic ties. Let’s begin by looking closer home; EAC and COMESA. I know “Kawaida wananchi” whose businesses have become a success due to the ease of doing business within EAC. I am a client to a lady who gets her goods from Uganda at a very cheap price and there is no hustle in crossing the border; she just needs her Identity card. Its just not for the sake of it that H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta is so committed to the unity of EAC. Nowadays the EAC Anthem has to be played in every state function and the EAC Flag flown next to the Kenyan Flag; this is just not for the fun of it. The unity is critical for the region’s development. As for COMESA, most of what we produce as a country is sold within this region. And we get very good deals as a result of being a member of the common market.
Moving on to the International stage…. During Amina Mohammed’s term as Cabinet Secretary, we have seen Kenya rise in the diplomatic front. Several high-level meetings have been held in Kenya and we have hosted a number of global leaders. This has a direct impact on the economy and touches on mwanachi wa kawaida. Talk to taxi drivers during such conferences and they will tell you that their business is booming. The hotel industry also gains massively. The guests come with allowances to spend and since not all of them can be accommodated in 5 or 4-star hotels, some end up staying at 3-star hotels or even lower. The demand for food in these hotels increase and with it comes the trickledown effect.
Let’s now talk about the African Union…. As a continent, there are deals that we make jointly e.g AGOA, negotiations that we get into together as Africa with the rest of the world; i.e with China, US, EU etc. And if you follow the chain keenly, in the long run, there is a trickle-down effect on the common mwananchi across the continent, be it farmers, people in the construction industry, transport sector etc. And this is the reason I am excited about Amina’s candidature. The cabinet Secretary is not only ambassador extraordinaire; she is also a negotiator per excellence. That combined with her Pan-African spirit means that when she is at the helm, she will push for the best deals for Africa. I remember that during the World Trade Organization Conference held in Nairobi in December 2015, which she chaired, Amina led her peers in negotiating a deal that will greatly benefit farmers from least developed countries. This included a commitment by the developed countries to abolish subsidies for farm exports which will go a long way in making our farm exports competitive in the world market; a move that was hailed as the most significant outcome on agriculture in the organization’s history. Now imagine what more she can do for Mwananchi wa kawaida as the chair of the African Union Commission…….