February 06, 2021
The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union has re-elected Moussa Faki Mahamat from the Republic of Chad, as the African Union Commission Chairperson for another four year term from 2021-2024.
The election took place on 6 February 2021 during the ongoing 34thOrdinary Session of the Assembly which is being held virtually due to the containment measures instituted as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Faki sought a second term mandate for the position of AUC Chairperson following the end of his first term tenure (2017-2020). The Chairperson of the AU Commission is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, renewable once. The Chairperson of the AU Commission is the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Chief Accounting Officer
Faki’s deputy is Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa from Rwanda. Dr. Nsanzabaganwa secured the majority of votes in a highly contested position which saw two other female candidates vying for the post.
Dr. Nsanzabaganwa becomes the first female to occupy the position of the Deputy Chairperson. Election of the AU Commission Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson by the Assembly is conducted by secret ballot and a two-thirds majority of Member States eligible to vote.
The 2021- 2024 elections of senior leadership for the AU Commission also saw the elections of Commissioners which was undertaken by the Executive Council. The Executive Council elects the Commissioners, who are then appointed by the Assembly. Commissioners are elected for four years, renewable once.
In line with the Institutional Reforms of the African Union and the goal to improve the efficacy of programme implementation, the portfolios of Commissioners were reduced from eight to six
The Executive Council on 6th February 2021 elected the following Commissioners
Amb. Bankole Adeoye (Nigeria) elected to head Political Affairs, Peace and Security docket.Ms. Josefa Sacko (Angola), re-elected to head Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment Amb. Albert Muchanga (Zambia) re-elected to head Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining.Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid (Egypt) re-elected to head Infrastructure and Energy docket.
Elections for the posts of Commissioner Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development and Commissioner Education, Science, Technology and Innovation were postponed to the next meeting of the Executive Council. The incumbent Commissioners Ms. Amira Elfadil Mohammed (Sudan) and Prof. Sarah Agbor (Cameroon) respectively, will continue to serve in their current positions until the elections are conducted.
The elections demonstrate progress on the implementation of the Institutional Reforms of the Union adopted in 2018 directing that from 2021, the leadership of the AU Commission shall be composed of eight members – the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and six Commissioners from the previous ten member Commission. The reforms also included decisions to enhance the transparency and meritocracy of the Leadership selection process, and a Panel of Eminent Africans were tasked with the pre-Selection process of the senior leadership positions of the African Union Commission.
The selection principles were based on equitable regional representation, gender parity, predictable rotation, attracting and retaining Africa’s top talent, accountable and effective leadership and management, and transparent and merit-based selection.