First Lady, women leaders host CS Amina Mohamed ahead of AU elections

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Foreign
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed cut a cake during a luncheon to wish Ms Mohamed well on January 22, 2017. Ms Mohamed is one of the candidates seeking the African Union Commission chairperson’s position. PHOTO | PSCU

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta joined friends, professional colleagues and relatives of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed during a well-wishing luncheon ahead of the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson elections next week.

Ms Mohammed is among five candidates seeking the top AUC post.

Mrs Kenyatta on Sunday described Ms Mohamed as both an inspiration and a mentor for many Kenyans.

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“You have made Kenya proud. Keep flying the Kenyan flag high. We know you are going higher. We wish you the very best”, she said during the luncheon at a Nairobi hotel, where various speakers including two Cabinet secretaries described their colleague as smart, intelligent and bold.

Elections for the AUC chairperson post will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government slated for January 30-31.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Foreign

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs minister Amina Mohamed during a luncheon to wish Ms Mohamed well on January 22, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU

Ms Mohamed was scheduled to leave the country Sunday evening for Addis Ababa for a gender conference before heading to Benin for further official engagements and then return to Addis Ababa for the AU Assembly elections that are expected to fill all the 10 positions, including AUC deputy chairperson and eight commissioners.


Ms Kenyatta said Ms Mohamed had steadfastly sacrificed her life and comfort towards improving the country’s image in Africa, protecting the interests of the continent and redefining the terms of Africa’s relationship with the world.

She expressed her admiration for the Cabinet secretary’s ability to balance the delicate demands of being Kenya’s highest-ranking diplomat and the challenging duties of being a wife and mother.

“Even as she travelled the world working incessantly to broker bilateral agreements and preserve peace, I have seen her simultaneously prioritize her family; her children and their wellbeing, their milestones, their lives”, Ms Kenyatta said.

Besides these huge tasks, she said, Ms Mohamed found time for women and the youth, whom she supported, inspired, motivated and encouraged in various ways.

Other speakers who heaped more praise on Ms Mohamed included her Cabinet colleagues Raychelle Omamo (Defence) and Sicily Kariuki (Public Service, Youth and Gender), Kristina Platt, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u, Senator Zipporah Kittony and long-time friend Wairimu Karago.

Women leaders, including First Lady Margaret

Women leaders, including First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, dance at a luncheon held in honour of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | PSCU

Justice Ndung’u described Ms Mohamed as a symbol of nationalism and patriotism, adding that the minister is the most suitable candidate for the AUC chairperson’s post.

For her part, Ms Mohamed said the Foreign Affairs docket is the best job she has ever held.

She said that during her tenure, she successfully protected Kenya’s sovereignty and independence, sought collaborative partnerships globally and guarded the country against impositions and dictations of what Kenya should do or not do.

She said her nomination to the AUC chairperson’s post by President Uhuru Kenyatta in October last year came as a surprise.

But she praised the president and Deputy President William Ruto for leading the campaign and lobbying for her candidature across 52 countries in Africa.

Besides Ms Mohamed, other candidates seeking position include the foreign affairs ministers Mousa Faki Mahamat (Chad), Agapito Mba Mokuy (Equatorial Guinea), Pelonomi Venson Moitoi (Botswana) and Bathily Abdoulaye (Senegal).

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