The African Union has set December 9 as the day for the AU Chairperson candidates debate, ahead of the elections billed for January 2017.
The current holder of the seat is Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She has held the position since 2012. Although she had the option of running for a second term, she declined.
In July, during the 27th summit in Kigali, Rwanda, a new chairperson was expected to be nominated by the African Union heads of state. However, none of the three candidates nominated at the time was able to garner the two-thirds majority required to win the secret ballot.
Invitations were sent out on Tuesday by the African Union commission to the AU Chairperson Candidates. This will be the African Union commission’s first-ever debate. The invitation reportedly stated:
“It is our sincere belief that this debate will help in the transformation of our union and Africa, as often elections of the union leadership occur behind closed doors, thus denying the broad African public an opportunity to be informed and participate in the work of the commission.”
The debate will have a town hall style and will also take place at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dr Dlamini-Zuma said the debate would act as a way of giving the broad African public an opportunity to be informed and participate in the work of the commission.
There are five aspirants of the position including: Botswana’s foreign minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy, Kenya’s foreign minister Amina Mohamed and Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye who is the special UN envoy for Central Africa.
The election will hold in January during the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government from January 30 to 31 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.