Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ms Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has this week confirmed she will continue with her campaign for the African Union (AU) Chairperson’s seat. She said on Tuesday that Botswana Cabinet has already endorsed her decision to run again after failing to get the position in July AU summit when she couldn’t get the required two thirds majority for the position from African Heads of State.
She will next week present her candidature to the SADC Foreign Ministers for re-endorsement though this time around the regional block could find itself split between Venson-Moitoi and former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who has since singalled his interest to run for the position. Kikwete’s name came on the backdrop of general concerns from some African states and leading individuals over the low quality of candidates that ran for the position. Venson-Moitoi ran against Equatorial Guinea’s foreign minister Agapito Mba Mokuy and Uganda’s former Vice President, Dr. Specioza Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe.
Failure by Moitoi to garner enough votes has partly been blamed on President Ian Khama’s disinterest in attending AU meetings. Some feel had he been more active and in touch with other African leaders, they would have easily voted for Moitoi to take over the position. However, she insisted this week that she will not give up. “I will continue to the end,” she declared. Elections are due to be held in Ethiopia in January 2017. Meanwhile the current Chairperson of the AUC, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will continue to chair the Commission.