Kenya has nominated its Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to contest for the chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed this month.The position has also attracted former Ugandan vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe, the Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and his Botswana counterpart Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.Uhuru Kenyatta expressed satisfaction in her duties and her expertise in handling diplomatic relations.
“I see that Amina is doing well and this looks like an Amina(her legacy) thing. We have nominated her to be the AU chairperson,” He said at State House Nairobi when addressing a youth summit.
Ms Mohamed has had a memorable career as a diplomat and has been distinguished as one of the most successful Cabinet secretaries in Kenya. She has served in strategic government positions and been elected to key international positions.
Her work experience in over twenty six years covers a broad spectrum of domestic and international assignments. She rose through the ranks in Kenya’s diplomatic service to the highest level of Ambassador/Permanent Representative Kenya Mission to the UN at Geneva from 2000-2006.
The nomination process for the next African Union Commission chairperson was opened afresh after the AU Heads of state Summit in Kigali in July failed to elect the successor of South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has been at the helm since 2012.The contenders failed to obtain the two thirds majority required for the position.
The recruiting panel is expected by October 14 to circulate the list of those nominated for the top job, in readiness for the election in January 2017.Ms Mohamed has served in the public service for 29 years and was once Kenya’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the UN in Geneva.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary General then appointed her the United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi.
The CS has led Kenya to organise huge global conferences starting with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit addressed by US President Barack Obama, the World Trade Organisation 14th ministerial conference and recently the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference, all in Nairobi.As the Permanent Representative, she represented Kenya in the UN system, the WTO among other international organizations.
Her strong interpersonal skills in negotiations, developed during her career in the multilateral fore, enabled her to effectively articulate Kenya’s interests. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Swahili and has a working knowledge of French
At UNEP, Ambassador Amina Mohamed has spearheaded the implementation of UNEP’s Medium Term Strategy and Programmes as well as on-going reforms.
Most recently she has been actively engaged with intergovernmental processes in implementing the RIO+20 outcomes and support efforts to enhance the funding base of the organization.Through her experience in the multilateral forum, she has provided legal advice during Kenya’s tenure in the Security Council, negotiations in the WTO, particularly in launching the Doha trade talks and contributed texts in the Kenya’s constitution where foreign trade has been integrated with Foreign Affairs.
Her East African competitor, Ugandan Wandira Kazibwe, is the first African woman to be a vice president of a sovereign nation. She has also led the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Agapito Mba Mokuy,a west African contender has worked with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for almost 20 years. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi from Botswana, another counter is a journalist and has served in different capacities in the Botswana government