Kenya Launches Campaign Secretariat for Raila Odinga's AU Chairmanship Bid

Kenya Launches Campaign Secretariat for Raila Odinga's AU Chairmanship Bid

Kenya Launches Campaign Secretariat for Raila Odinga's AU Chairmanship Bid

The Kenyan government is stepping up efforts to support Raila Odinga's candidacy for the African Union (AU) chairmanship by establishing a dedicated campaign secretariat. The announcement came from Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during a joint press briefing with Odinga at Kenya Railways in Nairobi, signaling the beginning of what promises to be a highly strategic campaign aimed at placing the seasoned politician at the helm of the continent's most significant intergovernmental organization.

The Secretarial Setup

The secretariat, which is set to be led by a team of experienced officers, has the monumental task of preparing Odinga for the upcoming AU chairmanship nominations scheduled for August 6. The team is diligently working on preparatory and application documents, which include comprehensive translations of Odinga's resume into six official AU languages: French, English, Swahili, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish. These documents are slated for submission to the AU Secretariat by the end of June 2024, ensuring all linguistic and administrative requirements are meticulously met.

Strategic Focus

The strategy of the secretariat is multifaceted. It includes identifying key opportunities, challenges, and risks that may arise during the campaign. Highlighting Odinga's long-standing values and leadership skills, the team aims to resonate with the AU Commission's core principles of efficiency, professionalism, and respect for diversity. Mudavadi emphasized that this well-organized approach is essential for demonstrating that Odinga's leadership is in alignment with the overarching goals of the African Union, particularly in its pursuit of long-term development and stability across the continent.

Government Endorsement

Raila Odinga expressed his deep gratitude for the robust support from the Kenyan government. He underscored the importance of this backing, noting that his ambition for the AU chairmanship is a significant step for not just himself but for Kenya as a whole. Odinga highlighted that as a candidate from Kenya, having the full endorsement and support of the national government is crucial as it echoes a sense of unity and purpose from his home country. He pointed out that the position he is vying for is uniquely centered within the African continent, necessitating Kenya's solid endorsement to strengthen his candidature.

Odinga's AU Background

Odinga's familiarity with the AU is well-documented. From 2018 to 2023, he served as the AU's High Representative for Infrastructure Development, a role in which he championed numerous infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing connectivity and economic integration across Africa. This experience has given him considerable insights into the workings of the AU, preparing him exceptionally well for the chairmanship role. During his tenure, Odinga was instrumental in advocating for the development of trans-African highways and railway networks, projects aimed at fostering regional cooperation and economic growth.

Campaign Directives and Goals

The campaign's goals are not limited to merely winning the chairmanship. The secretariat also seeks to articulate a clear vision for what Odinga aims to achieve if elected. This includes reinforcing the AU's role in promoting peace and security, economic development, and social progress among its member states. Odinga's vision is to enhance the operational efficiency of the AU, making it more responsive to contemporary challenges facing the continent, such as economic inequalities, climate change, and regional conflicts.

Moreover, Odinga's campaign will likely emphasize his advocacy for democratic governance and human rights, principles he has long championed in his political career. By focusing on these ideals, Odinga aims to solidify his appeal not just to the Kenyan electorate, but to the wider African populace and the various governments that constitute the AU.

Challenges Ahead

Despite the comprehensive strategy and the solid backing of the Kenyan government, Odinga's campaign is not without its challenges. The AU chairmanship is a highly coveted position, and other formidable candidates from across the continent are expected to vie for it. Each candidate comes with their own set of strengths and endorsements, making the competition rigorous. Additionally, securing unanimous or substantial support from the 55 member states of the AU requires adept diplomatic maneuvering and coalition-building, skills that Odinga and his team must continually hone throughout the campaign.


The initiation of this campaign secretariat marks a significant milestone in Kenya's political landscape and showcases the government's dedication to elevating its leaders to influential continental roles. Raila Odinga's bid for the AU chairmanship, backed by a meticulously crafted campaign strategy, positions him as a formidable contender for this pivotal role. As the secretariat continues its work, all eyes will be on how effectively it navigates the complexities of AU politics, prepares Odinga for the august nominations, and ultimately, how it rallies support from fellow African nations.

In the coming months, the political atmosphere in Kenya and across the continent is poised to intensify as this campaign gains momentum. The outcome of this bid could greatly influence not only Kenya's standing within the AU but also the broader trajectory of African unity and governance. By harnessing the values of efficiency, professionalism, and respect for diversity, Odinga’s campaign hopes to resonate with the aspirations of many within the African Union, potentially steering the future of the continent's premier international organization.

Write a comment

Required fields are marked *