Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday continued his political charm offensive in the continent in a bid to popularize his bid for African Union Commission chairperson bid.

Raila took a trip to South Sudan where he met and held talks with President Salva Kiir. The former PM confirmed that his continental bid shaped the agenda of today’s meeting in Juba.

“Had a very productive meeting in Juba with the President of South Sudan. Thank you, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for hosting me,” he posted on his X account.

According to Raila, Kiir undertook to mobilize regional heads of state to back his candidature in a poll to be conducted next year.

“Your support and commitment to rallying the entire EAC block behind my AUC Chair candidacy are greatly appreciated,” Raila who was in the company of some members of the campaign team set up to drum up support for him, told the South Sudanese leader

Raila hopes to succeed Moussa Faki Mahamat whose term as AUC chairperson is coming to an end.

The government of Kenya recently announced that it was fully behind the candidature of the country’s opposition leader. To catapult Raila to the post, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said the government led by President William Ruto will extensively engage with his counterparts in diverse regions of the continent. He indicated that so far, Raila’s candidature has been positively received.

“The campaigns are led by the state with highly experienced and knowledgeable officers. The State Department for Foreign Affairs has established a campaign secretariat which includes Raila Odinga’s strategy team,” said Mudavadi during a joint press briefing with the former Prime Minister

The foreign and Diaspora Affairs Minister indicated that Raila’s campaign team has been firming up preparatory and application documents together with requisite translations of the resume into six AU languages (French, English, Swahili, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish) in readiness for submission to the AU secretariat.

According to Mudavadi, Raila’s experience and leadership philosophy aligns with the AU Commission’s values.

“We have a visionary leader to fire up the African Union to greater levels. The Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga is a pan-Africanist who naturally espouses the think-Africa-above-all guiding principle of the AU Commission. Indeed, he holds dear the African Union’s ambition of being a people-centered organization,” he said

Mudavadi added; “We have no doubt Raila Odinga will pursue excellence in line with the continent’s collective aspiration of the Africa we want in 2063 as framed in the AU Development Framework of Agenda 2063,”

An empirical campaign strategy has been developed for Raila which includes identifying opportunities, challenges, and risks Kenya’s candidature might face. The campaign includes outreach programmes to capitals of AU member states, briefing of missions abroad, and engagements with the diplomatic corps in Nairobi.


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