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Why Raila Will Unite Africa if Elected AUC Chairperson

By Shadrack Nyakoe

Raila Amolo Odinga is undeniably one of Africa’s most esteemed pro-democracy leaders, known globally for his vigorous advocacy for democracy in the continent.

His reputation and dedication to democratic values made his appointment as the African Union representative for Infrastructure a natural choice. Today, Odinga is campaigning for the position of African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, and he is widely considered the frontrunner.

While candidates from Djibouti and Somalia are in the race, it is anticipated they will eventually support Odinga’s bid.

The AUC chairperson, elected every four years, serves as the CEO of the AU Secretariat, a role often confused with the ceremonial annual AU chairperson, which rotates among heads of state.

The AUC chairperson holds significant responsibilities, including overseeing the Commission’s administration and finances, promoting AU objectives, and coordinating with member states, development partners, and regional economic blocs.

This role used to be the secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which had fewer powers before the AU expanded its mandate in 2002.

This full-time diplomatic position comes with a monthly salary of $15,576.75, additional allowances, and substantial benefits for children’s education and housing. The chairperson’s speeches and actions must be meticulously measured, as they have a profound impact on the AU’s direction and policies.

The chairperson’s duties include facilitating AU organ meetings, ensuring conformity with AU policies, preparing the AU budget and strategic plans, managing Commission staff, and chairing Commission meetings. These responsibilities require a leader with exceptional experience and qualifications.

Raila Odinga possesses the necessary experience and skills to excel in this role. His track record of leadership and commitment to African unity and development positions him as the ideal candidate. Africa would benefit immensely from his leadership as the AUC chairperson.

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