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Raila reveals push behind his AUC chairmanship bid

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 12:26 | By
Raila Odinga during a past event
Raila Odinga during a past event. PHOTO/@RailaOdinga/X

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has expressed confidence that he will be the next African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship.

Speaking during a status update on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, Raila said that he decided to vie for the position after being approached by persons outside Kenya.

According to Raila, friends outside Kenya expressed confidence in him in clinching the seat and even running the commission efficiently.

"I am vying for a position in Africa, not in the government of the Republic of Kenya but I need the endorsement of the government of Kenya for that African position. I have been very encouraged by the number of senior government officials offering to be part of this journey out of the understanding that we are in this as Kenya and not as partisan political parties," Raila said.

"Many people have been surprised and wondered how I came to this. Many of my friends outside Kenya approached me and told me this AUC chairmanship position will be becoming vacant next year. We have looked around the continent and feel that among those who have offered themselves you have the best credentials to take this organisation forward," Raila revealed.

After factoring in his expertise and his previous role as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila says he decided to accept the request.

"After a lot of soul-searching and consultation among my colleagues and friends I made the decision to accept the request. I had been the High Representative for Infrastructure Development for five years, that position gave me an inside picture of what is happening in the AU," he said.

"I believe that I have the sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to move the AU forward. I am a pan-Africanist and an afro-optimist as opposed to afro-pessimists. Africa, the richest continent in the world in terms of resources is also the poorest in terms of development. This is the paradox that we want to solve."

According to Raila, Africans should be able to take charge of Africa by expanding communication and trade among the natives.

Raila's competitors

Currently, Raila is facing competition from Djibouti's Foreign Affairs Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Somalia's former Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam and Seychelles' former Vice President Vincent Meriton.

The four candidates from the Eastern Africa region are seeking to succeed the current chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who has held the position since 2017.

In March, the African Union Executive Council decided that the next AUC chairperson would come from the Eastern Africa region.

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