Ruto cam­paigns for CS in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto yes­ter­day con­tin­ued lob­by­ing for For­eign Af­fairs Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Amina Mo­hamed (pic­tured) in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Liberia for the po­si­tion of the African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son. South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who cur­rently holds the po­si­tion, has opted not to con­test for another term.

Dur­ing a meet­ing with Ruto at the Abid­jan pres­i­den­tial palace, Côte d’Ivore Pres­i­dent Alas­sane Ou­at­tara said he is per­son­ally com­fort­able with Mo­hamed’s can­di­da­ture. He said she has the ca­pa­bil­ity, qual­i­fi­ca­tion and un­der­stand­ing of what Africa wants.

“Who­ever will be elected must push for the in­te­gra­tion of Africa as a pri­or­ity be­cause it is through in­te­gra­tion that the con­ti­nent can progress,” Ou­at­tara said. He said his coun­try would con­sider Kenya’s request. Ou­at­tara said Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s ges­ture in send­ing Ruto to lobby for Mo­hamed is sig­nif­i­cant and he does not take it for granted.

Ruto said even though the East African Com­mu­nity coun­tries and the Common Mar­ket for Eastern and South­ern Africa have en­dorsed Mo­hamed, the en­dorse­ment would not be com­plete with­out the sup­port of West African coun­tries. The DP said Kenya en­joys long-stand­ing, cor­dial re­la­tions with Côte d’Ivore.

Ruto was ac­com­pa­nied by Mo­hamed and West Pokot Gov­er­nor Si­mon Kachapin. the DP said he is op­ti­mistic Cote d’Ivore will sup­port Mo­hamed. Ruto said the AU is com­mit­ted to lead­er­ship that will en­cour­age and en­hance in­tra-Africa trade to bring the African govern­ments to­gether.

“We be­lieve Mo­hamed has the po­ten­tial to push Africa’s agenda, es­pe­cially on mat­ters in­te­gra­tion,” Ruto said. He ad­dressed the press at the pres­i­den­tial palace in the com­pany of Ou­at­tara. Ruto said the African Union would be com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing bridges be­tween na­tions.

The DP said African coun­tries are work­ing to­gether to ensure in­te­gra­tion is ac­cel­er­ated. “I have come here as a spe­cial en­voy sent by Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta to meet Pres­i­dent Ou­at­tara to dis­cuss mat­ters of trade be­tween our coun­tries and ask for the sup­port of our For­eign Af­fairs Cabi­net Sec­re­tary Amb Mo­hammed for the po­si­tion of AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son,” he said.

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