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Raila lauds govt support for his AUC bid, expresses hope he will win

Mudavadi describes the Former Prime Minister as a pan-Africanist who naturally espouses the think-Africa-above-all guiding principle of the AU Commission.

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has lauded efforts being made by the government of Kenya to support his bid to become the next African Union Commission chairperson.

During a joint press briefing with Prime Cabinet Secretary and Minister of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi on his candidature, Raila expressed optimism that the state support will give his bid the much-needed boost to catapult him to the seat next year.

“I have shared with the government team the situation and my levels of preparation from outside the government. On my own, I am making every effort tapping into my experience, relationships, and understanding of as many nations as I can. With committed and proper coordination, we should be able to clinch the seat,” said Raila

Odinga says he believes he has all the necessary qualifications to run Commission if given a chance.

“I have been the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development for 5 years. That position gave me an inside picture of what is happening in the AU, as well as the potentialities, the challenges and weaknesses that exist,” the Former PM said

While appreciating the offer of support, he said he was deeply encouraged by the number of senior government officials offering to be part of his journey to AU out of an understanding that he is representing the country and not as partisan political parties.

“I am vying for a position in Africa and not in the government of the republic of Kenya but I need the endorsement of the government of Kenya for that African position,” he said

The campaigns are led by the state with highly experienced and knowledgeable officers. The State Department for Foreign Affairs has established a campaign secretariat which includes Raila Odinga’s strategy team – Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi

Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi said the government led by President William Ruto has fully endorsed Odinga’s bid and is continuing to extensively engage with his counterparts in diverse regions of the continent. He notes that so far, Raila’s candidature has been positively received.

“The campaigns are led by the state with highly experienced and knowledgeable officers. The State Department for Foreign Affairs has established a campaign secretariat which includes Raila Odinga’s strategy team,” said Mudavadi

The Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Minister indicated that currently, the campaign team is firming up preparatory and application documents together with requisite translations of the resume into six AU languages (French, English, Swahili, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish) and that this will be ready for submission to the AU secretariat by the end of June 2024.

According to Mudavadi, Raila’s experience and leadership philosophy aligns with the AU Commission’s values of efficiency, professionalism, and respect for diversity.

“We have a visionary leader to fire up the African Union to greater levels. The Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga is a pan-Africanist who naturally espouses the think-Africa-above-all guiding principle of the AU Commission. Indeed, he holds dear the African Union’s ambition of being a people-centered organization,” he said

Mudavadi added; “We have no doubt Raila Odinga will pursue excellence in line with the continent’s collective aspiration of the Africa we want in 2063 as framed in the AU Development Framework of Agenda 2063,”

Raila and Mudavadi disclosed that an empirical campaign strategy has been developed, including identifying opportunities, challenges, and risks Kenya’s candidature might face. The campaign includes outreach programmes to capitals of AU member states, briefing of missions abroad, and engagements with the diplomatic corps in Nairobi.

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