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Raila courts regional foreign ministers in bid to become AUC chair

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Odinga engaged with regional foreign ministers from eight countries to garner support for his African Union Commission(AUC) chairmanship bid.

Raila Odinga, Kenya's opposition leader and government ally, spent most of the weekend in Zanzibar attending an East African Community retreat for foreign and EAC ministers.

During the meeting, Odinga engaged with regional foreign ministers from eight countries to garner support for his African Union Commission(AUC) chairmanship bid.

Regional leaders sanctioned the meeting in June by regional leaders to iron out bottlenecks hindering regional development and integration. Tanzanian foreign minister January Makamba hosted the retreat.

Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya opposition coalition, said it is time for Africa to shine across the world in all facets of development. Via X, he added:

The political also explained his motivation while campaigning in Zanzibar.

"Why do I want to become the chair of the AUC? First, because I am African, and second, because I believe I have the ability to transform these institutions," the 79-year-old told the sitting of regional ministers.

He emphasised the importance of regional integration as a foundation for continental unity while reiterating his suitability to elevate the African Union's (AU) aspirations.

"I believe the AU is an institution that can do more than it is doing today. That's why I want to go there," he stated.

Odinga further outlined his key priorities if elected to succeed Moussa Faki as the AU Commission Chair next February, highlighting the promotion of peace and security initiatives as crucial for development.

"There can be no development without peace. AU has a Peace Fund but that peace fund has not been properly developed. Some countries make contributions but it is still very little. We need to expand that fund so that Africans can deal with issues of conflict on the continent themselves," he explained.

Odinga also pledged to revisit the AU's Resolution on Silencing the Guns by 2020, which has yet to be fully realised.

"We still have a lot of guns around. We should see how we can use the peace fund to help bring peace across the continent. That is one of the things I intend to promote," he affirmed.

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