Raila Odinga's stint at African Union ends

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's term as the African Union special envoy for infrastructure development has ended following the set up of an agency to take over the continental mandate.

Mr Odinga was appointed as the High Representative for Infrastructure in Africa on October 20, 2018, during the leadership of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The African Union is seeking to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, to promote economic growth and sustainable development.

"The transformation of the Nepad Agency to African Union Development Agency-Nepad has now been completed, with full mandate to implement the continental agenda on infrastructure," AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement.

“Your role in this journey, Excellency, has been invaluable. Allow me to express my profound gratitude for accepting to serve in this role during the transition period, which has now come to a happy conclusion,”  Mr Mahamat added.

Kenya's Foreign Affairs ministry confirmed the development.

Mr Odinga’s appointment in 2018, gave him the mandate of building on the work and leadership of the AU Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative. He had two offices -- one in Nairobi and the other in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where the AU is headquartered.

Before his AU appointment, Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta had ended their political differences after the 2017 polls through the famous March 9, 2018 handshake that saw the two work closely.

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