The candidature of Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Amina Mohamed for the position of the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson has been received positively by a number of African leaders.

This followed President Uhuru Kenyatta holding separate bilateral discussions with eight Heads of State and Government to drum up support for Amina and the leaders indicated their receptiveness to Kenya’s candidature for the top post of the AU Commission.

President Kenyatta had met the leaders over the weekend on the margins of the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development held in Lome, Togo, Sunday.

The leaders were Presidents Faure Gnassingbe (Togo), Ibrahim Boubacar KeA�ta (Mali), Alpha Conde (Guinea), John Dramani Mahama (Ghana) and Idriss Deby (Chad), who is also the current Chair of the AU. The others were Presidents Alassane Ouattara (Ivory Coast) and Denis Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo) and Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal of Algeria.

Amina told the media that Kenya was considered a good member of the African community of nations and this was why “there was a lot of receptiveness to our candidature” to fill the position which is being vacated at the end of 2016 by the current AU Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, of South Africa, who has decided not to seek another term.

However, Amina pointed out that the AU Commission Chair was an elective position and required energy and commitment to win it. “And that is why it was important for the President to have discussions with the leaders on the candidature even though he had sent out letters to them,” she said, adding that the leaders discussed not only her candidature but also other issues of importance to Kenya and their respective countries.

Amina said she was vying for the position because it was time for Kenya to provide a candidate who would unite the continent. “My credentials, especially in building consensus and carrying out reforms, are critical in bringing everybody together,” she Amina said.

Amina’s credentials include being the first woman to lead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya. She was elected President of UNCTAD 14 for the next 4 years, was the Chairperson of the historic WTO 10th Ministerial Conference and Co-Chairperson of the Ministerial segment of the first TICAD Summit to be held in Africa.

Amina is the first woman to have chaired the three most important bodies of the World Trade Organization; the Trade Policy Body, the Dispute Settlement Body and the Governing General Council of the WTO.

She has served as President of the Conference on Disarmament, and the first African and the first female Chairperson of the Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2010, Amina was elected President of the UN International Conference on Transnational Crime in Vienna, Austria for a two year period. In 2011, she was appointed by the UN Secretary General as UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

On Oct 3, President Kenyatta nominated Amina to vie for the position of AU Commission Chair.