Exit from Kenya's politics? Raila officially declares interest in AU Commission top job

Exit from Kenya's politics? Raila officially declares interest in AU Commission top job

Kenya's opposition leader and presidential candidate Raila Odinga, of the Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) One Kenya Alliance, speaks during a Reuters interview in Nairobi, Kenya August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has officially announced that he is ready to contest for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson job.

Addressing the media on Thursday, Mr. Odinga stated that he had a myriad of consultations with his friends prior to the decision.

"Should the leadership of Africa want my services I am ready and offer myself to be of service to this continent. I'm ready yes to go for the chairmanship of the African Union," said Odinga.

Odinga shared his discontentment over the appalling state of affairs in African countries which ironically are rich in resources.

While terming it a "brain drain", Odinga said that he is displeased with how African youth are forced to cross borders to other continents under arduous conditions just to eke out a living.

The firebrand political leader therefore said if he clinches the seat, he will be determined to transform the face of Africa and realign it to become an economic superpower.

"As a Pan-Afrcaninst I believe strongly that Africa is playing in the league that it should not play. That Africa deserves better," he noted.

"This is something we need to reverse and it can only be reversed if we as a continent marshal all our resources for the faster socio-economic growth of our continent."

He said that owing to his tenure as the African Union (AU) special envoy for infrastructure development in Africa from 2018 to 2023, he is a fit candidate to scoop the position since he best understands the socio-economic conditions across the continent.

"That position gave me a good advantage to be able to learn about each and every African country and I believe that working with all these countries we can be able to emancipate Africa," he said.

Odinga stated that he has spoken to former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, who was present in the address, to mobilize leaders across the continent "and talk to other people elsewhere".

Obasanjo said that it is finally time for the AUC chairperson mantle to rest in East Africa.

The AUC chairperson seat will fall vacant next year as its current occupant, Chad's Moussa Faki, is set to finish his two-term at the position.

Faki was first appointed in 2017 and won a second term in 2021.

AUC chairperson's role

The AUC chairperson is the topmost official of the continental bloc as he/she acts as the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Chief Accounting Officer.

The Chairperson of the Commission is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once.

Their functions include: overseeing the Commission’s administration and finances, promoting and popularising the AU’s objectives and enhancing its performance, consulting and coordinating with key stakeholders and appointing and managing Commission staff.

They also act as a depository for all AU and OAU treaties and legal instruments.


Raila Odinga Citizen Digital AUC chairperson

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