Chad’s Moussa Faki Wins Reelection as African Union Chairman, Signaling Four More Years of Overbearing French Influence in Africa

The 34th Session of the African Union Executive Council holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Saturday, February 6, witnessed the reelection of Moussa Faki Mahamat as African Commission Chairman. He has been there since 2017. His reelection has generated a lot of mixed feelings across the African continent. A one-time Chadian Prime Minister, Mr. Faki has been criticized as a tool in the hands of the French neocolonialist mission in Africa, helping Paris to maintain its grip on Francophone Africa.

Mr. Faki’s indifference to escalating crises in Africa south of the Sahara and his tepid posture to the continuous strangulation of the democratic norm by African dictators have rendered the African Union a moribund institution.  He is famously remembered as the man who axed Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quoa for calling out France over the country’s stranglehold on African economies through the colonial currency, the CFA F.

Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quoa (C) New York Amsterdam News

The Executive Council is the main body of the African Union that coordinates and takes decisions on policies in areas of common interest to the Member States. It is answerable only to the General Assembly and, is supposed to monitor and implement policies to help propel the continent to progress.  Judging from what the continent is traversing with unending conflicts, dictatorship, hunger, disease, and poverty, Mr. Faki and the African Union need to take a different direction during this new mandate.

Also reelected as the Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry, and Mining was Ambassador Albert Muchanga. He served as Zambian Ambassador to Brazil, Ethiopia, and Permanent Representative to the African Union. He was until Saturday, February 6, the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry.  

Ambassador Albert Muchanga, Zambia (C) Zambia Daily Mail

Securing 44 votes out of the 53 Member States, Ambassador Muchanga’s victory was viewed by many as convincing, and as one signalling that the African Union could do better. Having served as the Permanent Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary of the South African Development Community, SADC, Ambassador Muchanga was the kingpin behind the negotiations, conclusion, and ratification of the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) which was launched on July 7, 2019.

The African Union Executive Council and its renewed leadership, therefore, faces enormous challenges to steer the affairs of the bubbling African Continent plagued by numerous crises to safe shores. Some of these challenges awaiting the new executive body include not only the Covid-19 pandemic, but the ongoing genocide in the former UN Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mali, South Sudan, Nigeria (Biafra), and the civil war in the Central African Republic.

Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU and Albert Muchanga

 

Commissioners

Agriculture, Rural Development: Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko of Angola (Southern Region) Economic Development, Trade, and Industry - Albert Muchanga- Zambia – (Southern Region) Education, Science, and Technology: Elections were suspended as both candidates were from the Southern Region (South Africa and Zimbabwe) since The region already got two positions. New elections with new candidates will be conducted during the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in June 2021. The incumbent will continue until elections are held.

Infrastructure and Energy - Amani About Zeid from Egypt, reelected.  Political Affairs, Peace and Security: Ambassador Bankole Adobe. Social Affairs, Health: Candidate from the Northern Region- Mauritania eliminated since the Region already won Infrastructure and Energy. The incumbent Commissioner, Amira El Fadil of Sudan will continue until elections are held during the 39th Ordinary Session of the Assembly.