A number of African countries attending a sub-regional meeting here have promised their support for the candidature of Kenyan Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Amina Mohammed to become the next Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.

The member states from the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) threw their weight behind Amina during the sub-regional grouping’s summit in the Madagascar capital.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto here, the foreign ministers of Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Rwanda expressed their support for Amina to succeed the present chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa, who is not seeking another term.

They said she was best placed to steer the continent’s economic blueprint, Agenda 2063, and other reforms in the continental body and internationally.

Ethiopia’s Minister for Finance and Economic Co-operation Ahmed Shide noted that Amina has had a long and distinguished career in Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry which has enabled her to build experience and in-depth understanding of not only African issues but also international affairs.

He said: ” I am confident that she can serve our region well, especially in peace-building and continental integration. She is able, forthright and articulate and has our support.”

Malawi’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Francis Lazalo Kasaila, said Malawi is confident Amina can champion reforms in the continental body.

“I have interacted with Ambassador Amina on several occasions and I know that she is capable of bringing positive change to our region and the African Union,” he said.

Rwanda’s Francis Kanimba said her diplomatic acumen was evident when she successfully presided over several international meetings in Nairobi such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Tokyo International Conference on Africa’s Development (TICAD).

“We in Rwanda made our support for Ambassador Amina immediately it was announced, and as an East African Community (EAC) member we feel very proud of her candidature,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Madagascar’s Minister for Industry and Private sector Development Chabani Nourdine who said his country had no reason not to support Kenya’s foreign minister.

Ruto thanked the Ministers for their support of Kenya’s Foreign Minister and said Ms Amina had proved to be an invaluable asset to the Government of Kenya.

Mr. Ruto Said: “It was not an easy decision to let Amina go. She is an invaluable asset to the government of Kenya but because we believe in a bigger agenda, we think she can do better for Africa.”

He observed that the support of African countries had seen Kenya successfully host a number of international meetings in Nairobi most of which had changed the narrative that Africa is a continent of conflicts, disease and poverty.