Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Botswana, is the candidate from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the chair of the African Union. Her expertise lies in Public Service Management and Administrative Systems Analysis and Design.
There are five candidates for this top African civil servant position. The other candidates are Dr. Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad; Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial Guinea; Dr. Amina Mohammed of Kenya; and Dr. Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal.
“I am confident that this is a challenge I am qualified and ready to meet. I believe that I will bring to the role of AUC Chair the necessary skills, competencies, and experience to serve as a catalyst for change and help catapult Africa’s transformation process” Dr Venson-Moitoi said in a statement she released to support her candidature.
“The African Union Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena” is one that is very much within reach in championing a sustainable future for Africa, unlocking her every potential” she stated.
The 28th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government is set for 30 to 31 January in Addis Ababa. At this meeting, the full assembly will have to chose a new leader and a new secretariat.
The new chair will steer the process to reform the African Union.
The idea to reform the AU follows a decision made during the 12th AU summit held in Ethiopia in 2009 where it was agreed to set up a committee to look into the modalities of turning the AU secretariat into an authority.
Much of the progress will be anchored in the role and function of the new AU Commission, to systematically transform into a governing body for the continent as a whole.
The decision to transform the AU Commission into an authority was reached as an interim step to eventually form a continent-wide government. The proposed authority would have a broader mandate than the existing commission.
Of the five candidates for AU chairperson, only Dr Venson-Moitoi and Mokuy participated in the earlier elections held in July 2016 that failed to produce a winner as none of the candidates received the required two-thirds of the vote. The elections were rescheduled for the AU heads of state and government summit at the end of January 2017.