TWO Zimbabweans are vying for top posts at the upcoming African Union 34th Ordinary Session where President Mnangagwa is expected to join other Heads of State for the summit virtually over the weekend.
The annual AU Summit, that is being held under the theme; “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want” comes at a time when the continent, just like the rest of the world is battling the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, an outbreak that has resulted in restricted movement and forced countries to enforce lockdowns so as to curb its spread.
In an interview, Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokesperson Ms Constance Chemwai said two top civil servants are vying for commission posts at the ordinary session that will also see the election of the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Africa Union Commission.
“There are eight posts up for grabs. The first two are the chairperson and deputy chair of the AUC. Then we have (former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development) Engineer Amos Marawa vying for the Infrastructure and Energy portfolio and Professor Fanuel Tagwira (the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education) for the Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Commission post.”
The executive council (the minister’s meeting) started and will spill into today, while the heads of States will meet between February 6 and 7.
“Of importance are the elections penned for February 6 where Zimbabwe has two candidates vying for commissioner posts,” she said.
The Commission is composed of a chairperson, deputy chairperson and eight commissioners, plus staff.
The Assembly elects the AUC chairperson and AUC deputy chairperson. The Executive Council elects the eight AUC Commissioners, who are appointed by the Assembly.
“Commission members’ terms are for four years, renewable once. Elections and terms are governed by the AU Assembly Rules of Procedure the Executive Council Rules of Procedure and the Commission Statutes.
In its end of term report 2017-2021 the AUC, that is chaired by Moussa Fati Mohammad said during its tenure it focussed on implementation of key priorities laid out in Africa’s 50-year blueprint — Agenda 2063 — but had to deal with the unprecedented threat posed by Covid-19 which disrupted some of its operations.
“We end this term in a time of much disruption, uncertainty and unprecedented shifts in the way we operate due to Covid-19. We have had to adapt, reorganise and make changes to how we deliver our mandate.
“We have learnt that change and innovation is inevitable to confront the challenges of our time and are reassured that together, there is little we cannot overcome. We must come together to strengthen our resilience and mobilise and harness our capacities to reshape our world”.
As nations race to secure vaccines for their populations, Africa is looking at the COVAX facility that is coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) — which aims to vaccinate 20 percent of the most vulnerable people in 92 low-income countries, most of them on the continent, however with the continent eyeing to vaccinate at least 60 percent of Africa’s population in order to achieve herd immunity and slow the spread of Covid-19 the AU launched the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) that has just acquired 270 million doses, 50 million of which will be available in April and June.
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