Public debate for AU post candidates

Candidates vying to be the next African Union (AU) leader are facing off in a public debate. The historic debate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, allows the five candidates to outline their vision for Africa.

It is the first time such a debate has been organised by the AU but the actual decision will be made by African heads of state next January. Current AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is stepping down after declining to serve a second four-year term.

The debate gives the candidates the “opportunity to present their various perspectives in the area of leading the continental agenda for the upcoming four years,” the AU Commission said on its website, which is streaming it  live.

Organisers asked people to send their questions to the candidates using the #MjadalaAfrika hashtag. Mjadala means debate in Swahili.

The candidates for the AU Commission chairperson post are:

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi – Botswana’s foreign minister

Moussa Faki Mahamat – Chad’s foreign minister

Agapito Mba Mokuy – Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister

Amina Mohamed – Kenya’s foreign minister

Abdoulaye Bathily – Former UN special envoy to Central African Republic and Senegalese environment minister.

It is indeed a historic moment for the continental body, which has hyped this as an opportunity for the candidates “to speak to African citizens

The challenges for the African Union are numerous -civil wars, terrorism, poverty, hunger, unemployment and migration. These are just some of the issues the aspirants will have to tackle.

They will have a Town Hall style debate with a live audience drawn from the AU Commission, diplomatic corps, media and some invited guests.

It is also being streamed live as the AU encourages people across the continent and beyond to participate.

It is indeed a historic moment for the continental body, which has hyped this as an opportunity for the candidates “to speak to African citizens”. – Wires

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