The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union re-elected Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat as President of the African Union Commission for a new four-year term. The election took place during the ongoing 34th Ordinary Session of the AU Virtual Summit today 6 February 2021.
President Faki will be replaced by Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa of Rwanda who obtained a two-thirds majority of forty-two (42) votes in the election, in a position hotly contested by two other women candidates. Dr Monique becomes the first woman to hold the position of Vice-President.
Faki applied for a second term for the post after the expiration of his first term as the head of the Commission which took office in January 2017. According to the Constitution Act of the OAU now AU, the chairmanship of the Commission of the UA is for a four-year term, renewable once. The 2021-2024 elections for the top leadership of the AU Commission also occupied the positions of some commissioners. (The full list of elected officials will be posted on the AU website: www.au.int).
It should be noted that elections are carried out by secret ballot and by a two-thirds majority of the Member States having the right to vote. The Assembly elects the President and Vice-President while the Executive Council elects the Commissioners, who are appointed by the Assembly. The Vice-President of the AU Commission assists the President in the performance of his duties to ensure the proper functioning of the Commission and is in charge of administration and finance. The mandate of the new members of the Commission is four years, renewable once.
The six newly appointed Commissioners will govern various portfolios as follows;
From Angola, H.E. Josefa Sacko has been re-elected as head of the register of agriculture, rural development, blue economy and sustainable environment.
From Zambia, Amb. Albert Muchanga was re-elected as responsible for economic development, commerce and industry and mines.
From Egypt, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid was also re-elected to continue serving in the role of infrastructure and energy.
Amb. Bankole Adeoye was voted unanimously with 55 votes to take the lead in political affairs, peace and security.
Elections to the posts of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development; and education, science, technology and innovation were postponed to the next meeting of the Executive Board. The outgoing curators H.E. Amira Elfadil and Prof. Sarah Agbor, respectively, will continue in their current positions until the election is held.
The elections bear witness to the progress made in the implementation of the institutional reforms of the Union adopted in 2018 providing that from 2021 the Commission will be composed of eight members – the President, the Vice-President and six Commissioners from the ten members previous ones. The reforms also included decisions to improve the transparency and meritocracy of the leadership selection process, with a panel of eminent Africans tasked with the process of preselecting senior positions at the African Union Commission. The selection principles were based on equitable regional representation, gender parity, predictable turnover, attracting and retaining top African talent, responsible and effective leadership and management, and transparent and merit-based selection. . This is the first time in the history of the African Union that elections have been held practically on the occasion of the containment measures instituted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), HE Félix Tshisekedi officially assumed the presidency of the African Union for the year 2021, succeeding HE Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and President of the AU for the year 2020.
Find the end of mandate report of the African Union Commission 2017-2021 on the last four years of the AU Commission and the recommendations for the Union in shaping the future.