Egypt Seeks Uhuru’s Support for AU Chairmanship in 2019

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta's role in the replacement of Rwanda President Paul Kagame as the African Union Chairperson is shaping up with lobbying already underway for the seat.

    Kenyatta is expected to participate in the election of the AU head in 2019 following the end of Kagame's one year term.

    The Rwandan president was elected by the African Heads of State and Government during the Assembly meeting which was held in Addis Ababa earlier in the year.

    The seat rotates among the continent's five regions - Northern, Eastern, Central, Western and Southern Africa and a candidate must be supported by at least two-thirds of the member states or by consensus.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru during AU summit in January"][/caption]

    The chairperson is expected to complete the term without interruption; hence eligible countries with impending elections may be ineligible.

    He chairs the biannual summits and represents the continent in various international fora such as Tokyo International Conference of Africa's Development (TICAD), Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), G8 and G20 summits.

    In a special message delivered on Tuesday at State House, Nairobi, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called for President  Kenyatta’s support to secure the AU top position in the 2019 elections after Kagame completes his term.

    The message of goodwill was delivered to President Kenyatta by Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry who is President El-Sisi’s special envoy.

    Egypt affirmed its commitment to deepen cooperation with Kenya on bilateral and regional issues as the two countries look to explore new areas to enhance their relations.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta with the Egyptian delegation at State House on Tuesday"][/caption]

    Other presidents who have led the AU include: Idriss Déby (Chad), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (Mauritania), Hailemariam Dessalegn (Ethiopia), Thomas Yayi Boni (Benin), Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (Equatorial Guinea), Bingu wa Mutharika (Malawi), Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (Tanzania), John Kufuor (Ghana), Dénis Sassou N’Guesso (Congo), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Mozambique) and Thabo Mbeki (South Africa).

    The AU post should, however, not be confused with the Chair of the African Union Commission, who is currently H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat. 

    He is the Chief Executive Officer, the legal representative of the AU and Chief Accounting Officer. Mahamat is also directly responsible to Executive Council for the discharge of his duties.

    [caption caption="Moussa Faki Mahamat"][/caption]