Who Will Be The New African Union Chairperson?

As the race for the next leader of the African Union (AU) continues to heat up, the first ever AU public debate between the contenders is scheduled to hold on Friday.

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The historic AU public debate will hold in Addis Ababa but it will not be the final determinant of the contest to lead the organization. In the ring are five candidates who include;

  • Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed
  • Chadian opposition politician Moussa Faki Mahamat
  • Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily, currently the UN’s special representative for Central Africa
  • Agapito Mba Mokuy from Equatorial Guinea
  • Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi from Botswana

The first three are the top contenders for the position. Agapito Mba Moku and Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi had been rejected by African leaders in July during a summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The two failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority in the secret ballot.

Current AU chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will step down in January, her time in office having been extended after African leaders failed to elect her successor at a Kigali summit earlier this year. She refused a second four-year term in office.

AU public debate

At the historic AU public debate, the candidates will be expected to outline their vision for Africa but the actual decision on who will lead Africa will be made by African heads of state next January.

The AU commission said on its website that the candidates will have an “opportunity to present their various perspectives in the area of leading the continental agenda for the upcoming four years.”

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The AU public debate will be done town-hall style with a live audience drawn from the AU commission, diplomatic corps, media and some invited guests. There will also be life streaming as the AU wants people across the continent and beyond to participate.

The organizers have asked people to send their questions to the candidates using the #MjadalaAfrika hashtag.