Algeria latest state to back CS Amina’s candidacy for AU Commission top post
Senate president Abdalkader says Kenya’s top diplomat has the experience and skills to steer the continent
Algeria has pledged to support Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed for the chairperson of the Africa Union Commission.
Senate president Ben Saleh Abdalkader, who met Deputy President William Ruto yesterday in Algiers, said is support is unconditional.
“We know Madam Amina’s potential based on her experience. We will give her full support for the position,” Abdalkader said.
Ruto said Kenya is grateful and will work with all African nations to ensure the AU becomes stronger.
“Algeria, like Kenya, appreciates Africa needs a leadership that is focused on eliminating barriers to trade and movement of people. We believe Amina will provide the impetus to achieve this noble objective,” he said.
Algeria joins other African countries that have pledged support for Mohamed. Other Kenyan officials are also lobbying for Mohamed. She needs two-thirds of 50 AU votes. During the meeting in Algiers, Ruto assured the Algerian government of Kenya’s position on the future of Western Sahara in the AU. “We know what is happening about Western Sahara and its membership to the AU,” he said.
Efforts by Western Sahara to become an AU member have caused strained relations between Algeria and Morocco. The latter is opposed to its inclusion in the AU. But Kenya and Algeria support Western Sahara’s membership.
Ruto has visited Western and Northern African countries to seek support for Mohamed’s candidacy. The countries include Chad, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.
He will visit Mali and Nigeria. Nineteen Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa countries have already backed Mohamed. On Wednesday, Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma said his country will support her.
“We have a candidate from an ECOWAS member state, but we know Amina has what it takes to steer the commission and the African agenda within the AU,” he said during a meeting with Ruto in Free Town.
AFRICA NEEDS MORE SAY IN UN
While thanking Koroma for support, Ruto said most decisions made by the United Nations affect African countries. “For this reason, it is imperative that Africa gets more say at the UN table,” he said.
The Committee of 10 Heads of State on UN Security Council Reforms, chaired by Koroma, promotes this goal. Ruto and Koroma discussed the need for Kenya and Sierra Leone to harness trade and increase flights between them.
Earlier, Ruto met Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and said her stewardship of ECOWAS fosters economic integration and creation of a single trading bloc. Ruto said this attests to the fact that women leaders can deliver.
“I’m confident Amina Mohamed can complement her efforts as chairperson of the AU Commission,” he said. “We want a new African Union leadership that will work round the clock to ensure Africa takes its rightful place in global affairs, development and furthers the continent’s agenda to derive great benefit from interaction with the rest of the world.”
In Ghana, Ruto met President John Mahama. In Ivory Coast, he held talks with President Alassane Ouattara, while in Chad, he met President Idriss Deby.
Deputy President William Ruto is welcomed by Algerian Senate president Ben Saleh Abdalkader in Algiers yesterday. Ruto is touring African countries, seeking support for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed’s candidacy for the post of African Union Commission chairperson