The AU is expected to name Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's successor in July in Rwanda.
Former Ugandan vice president Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe officially launched her bid for chairperson of the African Union (AU) Friday evening.
She was endorsed by the Ugandan cabinet and the Eastern African region as their candidate for the position.
The launch was before the African Council of ministers and representatives from different countries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The AU is expected to name Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's successor at a heads of state gathering in the Rwandan capital Kigali in July.
The AU Commission is the key organ playing a central role in the day-to-day management of the African Union.
It represents the Union and defends its interests; elaborates draft common positions of the Union; prepares strategic plans and studies for consideration by member states; elaborates, promotes coordinates and harmonizes the programmes and policies of the Union with those of the RECs; and, ensures the mainstreaming of gender in all programmes and activities of the Union.
Others who have expressed interest in the seat and also presented their case included, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi (65), currently Botswana's Minister of Foreign Affairs who was chosen by a majority of member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Diplomatic sources say that despite being supported by South Africa and the regional bloc, her bid could be complicated by the fact that a second term by a SADC national does not necessarily have the support of the other regions in the AU.
Agapito Mba Mokuy (51), Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is the Central African candidate.
The member states of the African Union are divided into five geographic regions of the African Union including the North, West, East, Southern and Central regions.
Kazibwe is a physician and trained social scientist, veteran politician, diplomat and Pan Africanist. In 2013 she served as Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations for HIV/AIDS in Africa and is currently a member of the African Union Panel on the Wise, one of the critical pillars of the Peace and Security Architecture of the African Union.
She also previously served as the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda for a total of 9 years and was the first Woman Vice President in Africa. During her term in office, she oversaw government restructuring and pragmatic economic reforms that are credited with delivering commendable economic growth rates for Uganda that continue to this date.
She was also at the forefront of efforts to find lasting solutions to regional conflicts, facilitating and mediating conflicts in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sudan and Somalia.