January 30,2017 (ADDIS ABABA/KHARTOUM) - Chadian Foreign Minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, was elected on Monday as the new chairperson of the African Union (AU) commission replacing outgoing South Africa’s Dlamini Zuma.
Mahamat assumed AU’ top post after an election held Monday by AU heads of State and Government, who form the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The 56-year old diplomat win the election beating his prime rival Kenyan Foreign Minister, Amina Mohamed, after head of states from the 54-member states cast their votes in a private ballot.
Potential candidates need to sweep at least two-thirds which is equivalent to 36 votes to win the top position.
Moussa’s win came after seven rounds of voting, as he secured the support of 39 votes.
Today’s election was supposed to take place in July last year but the AU was forced to postpone it hence candidates failed to garner the required number of votes.
The Chadian candidate had the support of Western, Central and Northern Africa regions which gather Francophone and Arab countries and some eastern Africa countries.
SUDAN WELCOMES MAHAMAT’S ELECTION
Sudanese foreign ministry welcomed the election of the Chadian foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.
Commenting on the Mahamat’s election, Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Abdel-Ghani al-Nai’m told Sudan tribune that the new chairperson of the African Union executive body has a good understanding of Sudanese issues.
Al-Nai’m said the Chadian diplomat knows well the Sudan where he used to visit it, "When you find a person who understands your case, this helps in addressing many issues. So, as Sudan’s files are at the African Union, this will make things easier for (us)".
"Chad, Sudan and linked by bonds of neighbourliness and strong overlapping tribal". He added that Chad contributed and contributes to the ongoing efforts to end Darfur conflict, since the signing of a ceasefire agreement sealed in Abeche, Chad in 2004.
The African Union is brokering Sudan - South Sudan negotiations on the outstanding issues and Sudan peace process.
The Sudanese diplomat also welcomed the election of the Sudanese minister Amira al-Fadil as African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs.
Speaking after his election; the new chairperson has vowed to place security and development top in his agenda as he assumes his four-year term in office.
He said he dreams for an Africa where "The sounds of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories".
Mahamat earlier told journalists that the continental body has only implemented less than 15% of of the 1,800 resolutions adopted since 2002 and commutes himself to change that slow pace during his tenure.
AU CHAIR ELECTED
Guinea’s President, Alpha Conde, has been elected as the new chairperson of the African Union.
Conde was elected at the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) opened Monday at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
He took over the mainly ceremonial post of AU chairmanship from Chadian President, Idris Deby, who on Monday completed his one year tenure today.
The chair of the AU rotates among the Continent’s five regions.
During his one year chairmanship the continent reportedly made significant and ambitious strides including "adopting a self-financing mechanism, launching process to reform" the AU and an African passport.
President Conde said that he will firmly work to speed up and eventually meet targets and initiatives set by his predecessor among others fighting against challenges such as threats of terrorism, Migration and need to make the continent independent.
This year’s summit is being held under the theme: “Harnessing Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth".
The Union on Monday also decided to admit Morocco as its 55th member. Instead of voting, the African leaders reached a consensus on Monday over the Morocco.
Morocco withdrew from the the Organization for African Union in 1984, to protesting a decision to welcome the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.