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Raila, Mudavadi seek EAC Ministers’ backing for AUC post

They told the EAC ministers regional integration is important as a building block to continental unity

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a case for his African Union Commission chairmanship bid Sunday at the East African Community (EAC) Ministerial Retreat on Peace and Security in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.

Raila took time to explain to the EAC Ministers why he wanted to be the next AU Commission chairperson.

“I am Africa and based on my experience over the years, I have the ability to go to this institution and transform it,” said Raila

He told the ministers how regional integration is important as a building block to continental unity even as he reiterated his suitability to take continental aspirations a level higher than it is today.

“I believe AU is an institution that can do more than it is doing today. That’s why I want to go there,” he said

Top on his agenda if elected to succeed Moussa Faki, Raila indicated he wants to promote peace and security initiatives in the continent which he singled out as the most important feature for development.

“There can be no development without peace. AU has a Peace Fund but that peace fund has not been properly developed. Some countries make contributions but it is still very little. We need to expand that fund so that Africans can be able to deal with issues of conflict in the continent themselves,”

The opposition leader also promised to revisit the Resolution that was passed at the AU aimed at Silencing the Guns by 2020, but only ended up being just on paper.

“We still have a lot of guns around. We should see how we can use the peace fund to help bring peace across the continent. That is one of the things I intend to promote,” averred Raila

At the same time, Raila spoke of the need to see African people benefit from the bountiful resources the continent has been blessed with.

“Africa is the richest continent on planet earth in terms of resources. The paradox is that the richest in terms of resources is also the poorest in terms of the living conditions of the people. We can make a paradigm shift and change this and make Africa one of the most developed continents,” he said

The Azimio la Umoja Coalition leader was introduced to the summit by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi to speak about his candidature at the AUC.

“I urge fellow EAC ministers to support this visionary and transformative leader, to champion Africa’s integration, growth and prosperity,” said Mudavadi

While reiterating President William Ruto’s support for Raila’s candidacy, Mudavadi told the Ministers their backing underscores the unity and collaboration vital for advancing Africa’s agenda globally. He thanked the organizers of the retreat for giving Odinga a chance to address the summit.

“I can only appeal that please, give his (Raila Odinga’s) candidature a favourable consideration based on the issues he has been able to highlight,” he said

The EAC Ministerial Retreat brings together Partner States’ Ministers of Foreign and EAC Affairs to discuss critical issues affecting the EAC region.

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