Why I Want To Lead Africa – Amina Mohamed
The Foreign Affairs Minister of Kenya, Ambassador Amina Mohamed, is passionate about Africa. The passion is what is driving her to vie for the position of the chairperson of the African Union Commission, (AUC) this January. She is, however, leaving no stone unturned to ensure she succeeds. She has been travelling from one African country to another in search of support, and she is succeeding. Realnews has reliably gathered that some countries including Nigeria are already supporting her candidature.
Mohamed is vying for the post because of her conviction that Africa is destined to realise its full potential as envisioned by her forefathers’ foresight reflected in the African Proverb; “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far – go together”. “This burning desire to forge an even deeper integration of this great continent is clear in our peoples’ resolve to succeed together, and to create a better future for our children and future generations,” Mohamed said.
Perhaps, this explains the basis for her vision for the AUC anchored on Africa’s blueprint for development: Agenda 2063–The Africa We Want – a destiny of greatness. She views Agenda 2063 as a grand vision whose achievement will be the sum of many acts of courage, vitality and persistence by every African citizen.
Mohamed is of the view that the path for the continent’s sustainable development and prosperity is no longer an aspiration but an unfolding reality. “The ground has shifted on many fronts and Africa today epitomises hope and opportunity. An increasing number of the fastest growing economies are domiciled in Africa. The continent is steadily inching into the global limelight as a strategic partner in global economic growth and development.
“These are exceptional times for Africa. We have, in recent years, witnessed the tenacity, drive, grit and determination of Africa’s youth. Our youth are taking full advantage of advances in information technology and the digital age to carve out innovative and transposable solutions to lift communities out of vulnerability and extreme want. Africa’s growing population is the youngest in the world, it is better educated than previous generations and it will define the future of our continent.”
She believes the progress of Africa has to be secured through an all-inclusive approach that encompasses consultation, cooperation, coordination for the successful implementation of Agenda 2063. “It is also important that we concretise and adopt mechanisms to ensure that available resources are utilised to generate optimum results. Every African citizen deserves a life of dignity free from harm in order to promote social justice and the realisation of their potential. I am optimistic that together we can continue to create a continent that not only embodies our pride and dignity, but is also a hub for peace and stability.”
Mohamed’s conviction is informed by the significant reduction in armed conflicts and internal strife, the improved peace and stability, and the commendable progress in democratic governance. Furthermore, history has repeatedly proved that partial and secluded prosperity does not insulate citizens from the burdens of crises, war and conflict. “For this reason, our common accord will guarantee sustainable peace and stability in all Member States,” she said.
“My vision is that of a Commission that will utilise and build on the current momentum to secure Africa’s rightful place in the community of nations. In order to fulfill this objective, I envision a continent united in both values and outlook, and whose transformation is decisive and inclusive.
“I stand for a Commission that will work for the full realisation of the objective of a ‘people-centred’ African Union that is internationally respected; financially independent; economically prosperous; closely integrated and singularly responsive to the needs and wishes of the vast majority in the continent of Africa. I pledge to do my part and serve each member with passion, loyalty, compassion, selfless determination, alacrity and tenacity,” she said.
Her bid to be the chairperson of the African Union Commission is not without precedent. Mohamed, a lawyer, diplomat and politician, is not new to international politics. Over the years, she has traversed the globe working with different international organisations. She became the first female chairperson of the World Trade Organisation’s General Council in 2005. Also, she previously worked as the assistant secretary and deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
From 2001 t0 2005, she was a member of the executive boards and committees of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, International Labour Organisation, ILO, World Health organisation, WHO, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR and United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS.
Between 2006 and 2007, Mohamed acted as director for Europe and Commonwealth Countries as well as Diaspora matters. She also chaired the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Affairs’ Committee on Strengthening and Restructuring.
During the 2010–2011 calendar years, Mohamed served as the President of the United Nations Conference on Transnational Crime in Vienna. Additionally, she was the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs from 2008 to 2011.
Born in Kakamega, Kenya to an ethnic Somali family on October 5, 1961, Mohamed is the eighth of nine siblings. She married Khalid Ahmed in 2002 and they both have two children and also care for four orphans
Mohamed is multilingual, speaking her native Somali as well as English, Russian and Swahili, with a working knowledge of French. A graduate of University of Kiev, Ukraine, she also has a Master of Laws, LLM, in International Law, and Postgraduate Diploma, PGD in International Relations from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Her priorities, if elected AUC chairperson, include running an independent and efficient organisation, ensuring predictable and adequate financing resource base for AUC; providing dynamic consultative framework to pursue continental integration by building on achievements of regional economic communities; mobilising resources to improve infrastructure deficit in the continent; work with partners to ensure Africa’s justice at international negotiation forums; promote peace and security in Africa, and unleash the potential of women and youth among others.
Mohamed exclusively told Realnews that she is a unifier and will unite African countries, erase whatever past division and ensure that African Union is internationally respected, financially independent, economically prosperous, closely integrated, and singularly responsive to the needs and wishes of all the people of Africa including the diaspora – leaving no one behind.
Only time will tell if she will be elected to fulfill these noble aspirations of hers for a continent in dire need of firm and focused leadership.
Culled from Realnews