Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: On 27 January 2017, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Southern Africa Region (SAR) met on the margins of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union to review the campaign strategy for the Region’s candidates vying for the African Union Commission (AUC) positions. These include the AUC Chairperson position and the Commissioner positions for Peace and Security, Political Affairs, Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry, Social Affairs, Rural Economy and Agriculture. The elections for the positions take place on 30 January 2017 during the 28th AU Summit.
The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax delivered welcome remarks while Honourable Mugwagwa Gamedze, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and SADC Chairperson of Council of Ministers from the Kingdom of Swaziland opened and chaired the meeting.
Central to the AUC elections, will be the election of the next Chairperson who will succeed the outgoing Chairperson, Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The candidate for the Southern Africa Region is the Honourable Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana. Honourable Venson-Moitoi is competing against four other candidates namely, Professor Adoulaye Bathily from the Western Region, Honourable Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat and Honourable Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy from the Central Region, Honourable Minister Amina Mohammed from the Eastern Region.
Among other aspects, the SAR Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting took note of the campaign activities undertaken to advance the candidature of Honourable Venson-Moitoi as the AUC Chair. The Ministers also reaffirmed the Region’s full support for Honourable Venson-Moitoi and their commitment to continue to lobby support for her from other AU Member States throughout the electoral process.
In his concluding remarks the Chair emphasized that the successful outcome for the Southern Africa Region’s AUC Chairperson Candidate will be a victory for all. The Chair highlighted Honourable Venson-Moitoi’s commitment to the objectives of the Union such her goal to ensure the effective implementation of Agenda 2063 by working towards eradicating poverty, mitigating economic marginalisation, empowering women and protecting the rights of children.
The meeting was attended by the 10 Southern Africa Region Member States to the AU, namely Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The United Republic of Tanzania attended in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Organ.