Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Omolo Odinga has been appointed as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development.
The appointment announced on Saturday was made by the continental body’s Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
“The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, today appointed Honorable Raila Odinga of Kenya as High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa,” said part of the statement.
Mr. Odinga is expected to champion the integration of Africa through infrastructure connections.
“This decision is part of the African Union’s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development.”
The appointment is also aimed at the implementation of the adopted free trade area, movement of persons and launching of single African air transport market.
“It comes against the backdrop of renewed efforts in this regard, as exemplified by the adoption, last March in Kigali, of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport, as well as by the launching of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), in Addis Ababa in January 2018.”
Moussa appreciated Odinga for taking on the role and recognized his vast wealth of experience.
“The Chairperson of the Commission is grateful to Honorable Raila Odinga for accepting this important assignment. He brings with him a rich political experience and strong commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and African integration, as well as a deep knowledge of infrastructure development.”
Odinga has served in a number of critical positions in a career spanning more than forty years. In addition to having been a Member of Parliament, he has held important ministerial portfolios, including Energy, Roads, Public Works, and Housing between 2001 and 2005. He has also served as Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013.
The Chairperson of the Commission expresses appreciation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his supporting the appointment of Odinga.