On Tuesday, former Foreign Minister of Chad, Moussa Faki Mahamat began his role as the new African Union Commission chairperson.
Faki will lead the 54-country continental union for the next 4 years, having taken over from former chairwoman, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
In his speech, he highlighted the famine in Africa as an embarrassment to the continent;
“The famine that ravages vast areas of Africa these days is a real humiliation for us,” Faki told delegates at the commission’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
“The immense potential of our continent and the enviable rate of economic growth of many member states of the union leave us no justification for this hideous human tragedy”.
This comes as the UN reports that the famine in Somalia, South Sudan, and northeastern Nigeria is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Mr. Faki stated that as the new African Union Commission chairperson, he will focus on Africa’s development and security challenges. He said he envisions an Africa where “the sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories.”
Faki won the position ahead of Kenya’s foreign minister, Amina Mohammed and diplomats from other African countries after seven rounds of votes in January. Last year, the African Union failed to nominate a new AUC chairperson as all candidates did not attain two-thirds of the votes as required.
Some facts about Mr. Moussa Faki
Faki is a law graduate from a Paris university as well as one from Brazzaville, Congo.
He was born on June 21, 1960, in Chad and is from the Zaghawa ethnic group as Chadian President, Idriss Deby.
Before becoming the African Union Commission chairperson, he was Prime Minister of the central African country from 2003 to 2005.
He became a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2007. In the same year, he was elected President of the council.
In 2008 he was appointed as the Chadian Minster of Foreign Affairs.
As the new AUC head, Faki pledges to focus on security and Africa’s development