The two-tier elective leadership positions at the African Union (AU) Commission were filled during the just concluded AU Summit. The first tier is that of the chairperson and the deputy chairperson.
The two-tier elective leadership positions at the African Union (AU) Commission were filled during the just concluded AU Summit. The first tier is that of the chairperson and the deputy chairperson. The Assembly filled these positions when it elected Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (South Africa) and Erasmas J.O. Mwencha (Kenya) as chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively.
While Dr Zuma is getting her first term of five years, Mwencha was being re-elected to a second and last term.
The second tier is that of commissioners of which there are eight – peace and security; political affairs; infrastructure and energy; social affairs; trade and industry, rural economy and agriculture; human resources, science and technology and economic affairs. They are elected by the executive council comprising of the ministers of foreign affairs of AU member states and appointed by the Assembly.
Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Ugandan, was elected to head the Commission for Rural Economy and Agriculture. This will be her second and last five year term.
We congratulate her for retaining her post whose duties she has disposed of with distinction for the past five years.
She consolidated of the Grow Africa initiative that increases private sector participation in resourcing the agricultural sector. Another is the initiative for the Horn of Africa for early warning on droughts that have resulted in devastating famine that saw 30,000 children dying in three months.
Furthermore, CAADP has been taken to a whole new level since she took office with over 30 countries now having signed the CAADP Compacts and developed CAADP Invest Plans.
One of her lieutenants on CAADP, Keizire Blackie, also Ugandan, is as good a technician in his area of expertise as they come.
The potential for African agriculture to be transformed even more during Tumusiime’s five year tenure is enormous. While Uganda is among 14 African countries, which are net exporters of agricultural products, its performance in terms of moving towards the Maputo protocol of investing 10% of the national budget in agriculture and the CAADP target of 6% annual growth in agriculture, remains a pipe dream as she remains around 4% budget allocation and less than 3% in agricultural growth terms.
So, while Uganda leads the continent on rural economy and agriculture, it must avoid the risk of leading others to paradise while we miss out.
Ugandan retains our flag high at AU Commission