East Africa bloc lauds appointment of Kenya’s Odinga as AU special envoy

(EBC; October 22, 2018)- The East African bloc IGAD on Sunday welcomed the appointment of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.

Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), underlined the critical role of infrastructure development as a key driver of progress and sustained economic development.

“This will go a long way in mobilising our collective efforts towards the implementation of PIDA - the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa,” Maalim said in a statement, adding that the program is a key pillar of the AU Agenda 2063.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said in a statement on Saturday that the decision to appoint Odinga is part of the pan African body’s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development.

Mahamat said Odinga will work to support and strengthen the efforts of the Commission’s relevant departments and those of the planning and coordinating agency of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), within the framework of PIDA, which was endorsed by the Assembly of the Union in January 2012.

According to Mahamat, Odinga’s mandate includes mobilizing further political support from member states and the regional economic communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent.

“He will also support the Commission and NEPAD initiatives to encourage increased commitment from development partners,” Mahamat said.

In his statement, Maalim said the regional bloc will also remain fully engaged and committed to the realization of the continent’s massive infrastructure and development needs.

“As the highest performing regional economic community in infrastructure, according to the 2016 Africa Regional Integration Index Report, IGAD stands ready to support the new High Representative in the fulfillment of his mandate,” he added

Source: The East African