In­tense lob­by­ing for Amina’s AU job bid en­ters sec­ond leg

State House reaches out to other lead­ers. ‘You can ex­pect to see more of the travel, as Kenya ro­bustly seeks an African con­sen­sus on Mo­hamed’s can­di­dacy’

The Star (Kenya) - - News - GIDEON KETER @ArapGKeter

The sec­ond leg of shut­tle diplo­macy to cam­paign for For­eign Af­fairs CS Amina Mo­hamed’s can­di­dacy for African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son be­gins this week.

Kenya has put up spir­ited and well­funded cam­paigns for Mo­hamed. At least 35 of the 53 mem­ber coun­tries will have to vote for her if she has to oc­cupy the seat.

Nine­teen Comesa coun­tries have pledged their sup­port.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto re­turned to the coun­try on Satur­day after lob­by­ing West Africa and parts of East Africa.

“This is part of Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing African in­sti­tu­tions have ro­bust lead­er­ship that de­liv­ers on the con­ti­nent’s agenda, in­clud­ing the am­bi­tious Agenda 2063,” State House said on Sun­day.

“Kenya re­mains en­cour­aged by progress made in the cam­paigns. The EAC en­dorse­ment fol­lowed that by Comesa and So­ma­lia’s an­nounce­ment of the first vote at the elec­tion.”

Comesa is a 19-coun­try free-trade bloc, but its mem­bers also be­long to other re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

“You can ex­pect to see more of the travel, as Kenya ro­bustly seeks an African con­sen­sus on Mo­hamed’s can­di­dacy. That can only be achieved if the Pres­i­dent reaches out to all the con­ti­nent’s lead­ers, which is what he is do­ing,” State House added.

Mo­hamed is con­test­ing against Botswana’s Pelonomi Ven­son-Moitoi, Equa­to­rial Guinea’s For­eign min­is­ter Agapito Mba Mokuy and Sene­gal’s Ab­doulaye Bathily.

Malawi and Mada­gas­car, which be­long to SADC, have pledged to sup­port the CS.

The elec­tions are slated for Jan­uary 2017 in Ad­dis Ababa, Ethiopia, the head­quar­ters of the AU.

On Mon­day next week when the Pres­i­dent hosts the State House Diplo­macy Sum­mit, Mo­hamed will up­date Kenyans on the gains made since the cam­paigns be­gan.

/DPPS

For­eign Af­fairs CS Amina Mo­hamed, Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto and Nige­rian Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari in Abuja on Fri­day

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