Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 10, 2016 – “My vision for the African Union Commission is simple: to be an institution that drives the African Agenda. I plan to lead a team that builds an Institution that serves our people – our youth, our women, our businesses, our artists, our nations.

“To do so, we need to collaborate rather than compete. Collaborate economically to drive intra-African trade and politically to resolve common development and security challenges. Internationally, we have an obligation to ensure that our collective African voice is heard and strongly represented in the international arena.”

The African Union, through its African Union Leadership Academy (AULA) on Dcember 9, 2016, convened the first ever leadership debate for candidates contesting for the position of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to highlight how they will implement their policies if elected come end of January 2017.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr. Amina Mohamed who is fronted by the Kenya Government and the larger Eastern Africa, was part of this landmark debate and focused her discussion on agenda for Africa particularly with regards to African youth, implementation of the 2063 African agenda, gender equality, trade development and peace and security.

Highlighting Dr. Amina Mohamed’s suitability for the position, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has previously commented:

“Given her track record, I am confident that Dr. Amina Mohamed will serve our Continent with the requisite professionalism, intellect, skill, integrity, passion and commitment. I have no doubt that her international experience and exposure will be an invaluable asset in driving African Commission in the achievement of Africa`s immense potential.”

The debate was streamed live on the African Union website and was broadcast live across various national broadcasters throughout the continent and beyond. The debate also elicited huge social media conversations across Africa trending for more than five hours on Twitter with the hashtag #Amina4AU.

The other four candidates vying for the same post are: Botswana’s Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson – Moitoi, Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, Equitorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye who is the special UN envoy for Central Africa.

The debate took place in the context of the series “Africa Leadership Debates”, dubbed MjadalaAfrika, which is a platform for key stakeholders in various aspects of society to discuss the various opportunities that can be harnessed to ensure Africa achieves its goals for integrated and sustainable development and transforming the continent to become a major player in the global arena.

Amb. Mohamed has had a distinguished career in public service spanning over 29 years and covering a broad spectrum of domestic and international assignments including restructuring the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has demonstrated her leadership and diplomatic capabilities time and time again in different capacities.

Through her expertise she has been able to re-position Kenya in the international arena, and she hopes to do the same for the continent. She has also been influential in promoting Africa’s agenda in multi-lateral fora including successfully chairing the World Trade Organization’s 10th Ministerial Conference hosted in Nairobi.

She continues to champion for Africa’s voice to be heard within the United Nations System through the proposed United Nations Security Council reforms, with Kenya as a member of the AU Committee of Ten on the Security Council reforms.

Amb. Mohamed was recently honoured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as one of the four UNDP Champions for the year 2016.

Amb. Mohamed holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Kiev and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from KCA University and Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Moi University. She is fluent in English, Russian and Swahili and has a working knowledge of French.