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Election of AU Commission Chairperson postponed

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Election of AU Commission Chairperson postponed
OPTIMISTIC: Venson Moitoi

“I will wait for things to unfold.” Venson-Moitoi

The 27th African Union came to an end on Monday, July, 18th, 2016 in Kigali Rwanda with the election of the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission postponed to January 2016 at the Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The postponement followed an election that failed to produce a clear winner after the three contenders did not gather the required two-thirds of the votes as stipulated in the AU Constitutive Act.

The three candidates in the race were: the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Botswana, Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi; the Foreign Affairs Minister of Equatorial Guinea, Agapito Mba Mokuy, and the former Vice President of Uganda, Dr. Speciosa Kazibwe.

The current Chairperson of the AUC, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will continue with her work until the next elections.

Asked whether she was confident about the next round of elections in January, Venson Moitoi, speaking in a telephone interview from Kigali on Wednesday said it was still too early to comment.

” I am still in Kigali, I still have to go back home and report back to SADC and then from there we can see which decisions to take. You have to keep in mind that I am not representing myself but the whole of Southern Africa.”

Concerning the decision by 28 member states to abstain from casting their votes in what some analysts have described a show of vote of no confidence on all the candidates after some delegates have queried the caliber of the contenders, Moitoi Venson said, ” I will not enter that debate. I know I’m capable. I know my caliber. What I don’t know is what my caliber is compared against. I’ll rather we talk about tangible things at this moment, so what you should be doing is asking those who raised the question about the quality of the candidate to tell you what they are comparing the candidates against. Otherwise I would rather wait for things to unfold before I can comment.”

Meanwhile the summit ended with a common call for togetherness and inclusive growth and economic development through Agenda 2063 by Heads of State and Government from AU Member countries.

Agenda 2063 is described on the AU website as, “both a Vision and an Action Plan. A call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny.”

The Heads of State also adopted recommendations of the retreat on financing the Union, which seeks to empower the Union by driving it towards financial independence and from external influences.

The AUC chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma presented the Gender Scorecards in various categories ranging from socio-economic and political performance to development at national level. Rwanda, Algeria, South Africa and Tunisia were awarded honorific prizes in recognition of their outstanding efforts in the promotion of women rights and gender equality.

“African countries should maintain this spirit of togetherness and start working together on action plans to foster economic development for the entire continent. This Summit has indicated that we can achieve great things and overcome all challenges if we work in unity”, said Dr. Dlamini Zuma in her closing remarks.

Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and President of the Republic of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, also called on African States to focus on implementing Agenda 2063, as well as to reaffirm their commitment to the principle of gender equality as enshrined in Article 4 (l) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

“Our commitment to develop the continent and make it independent must continue. As we go forward, we should learn from one another and accelerate efforts to promote gender equality at all levels. We can all learn from success stories, such as that of Rwanda our host, to build on the progress that we have achieved in addressing issues of major concern to the women of Africa”, said the AU Chair.