The African Union Commission has appointed opposition leader Raila Odinga of Kenya as High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, said this decision is part of the African Union’s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development.
In a press statement from the AUC, the High Representative will work to support and strengthen the efforts of the Commission’s relevant Departments and those of the Planning and Coordinating Agency of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
This will be expedited within the framework of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which was endorsed by the Assembly of the Union in January 2012.
Odinga’s mandate also includes mobilizing further political support from Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent.
He will also support the Commission and NEPAD initiatives to encourage increased commitment from development partners.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated Raila Odinga on his appointment to the position of the Africa Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
The Head of state said the appointment of Odinga is a great honour to the people and the Republic of Kenya adding that he has over the years been at the forefront in the development of modern infrastructure as an economic enabler and as an instrument for regional and international integration.
“We all fondly remember the Hon. Raila Odinga for the exemplary infrastructure development work he did in his past assignments in Government as Minister for Roads and Public Works, and as Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government. Under the Hon. Raila Odinga, several key infrastructure projects were conceived and successfully implemented among them the road by-passes in Nairobi and other major towns across the country,” said Kenyatta.