Zambia has intensified her campaign to field two candidates for two senior decision making positions of the African Union(AU) at the upcoming January, 2017, AU elective summit.
Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, Susan Sikaneta, disclosed this in an interview with ZANIS in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea today.
Ambassador Sikaneta named the two candidates as Dr Austin Sichinga, a former Special Assistant to the President for Economics during President Rupiah Banda’s Presidency and Ambassador Albert Muchanga, the current Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s office.
Dr Sichinga, a scientist, is vying for the position of Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Ambassador Muchanga is eyeing the post of Commissioner for Trade and Industry.
Ambassador Sikaneta said it is important for Zambia to have representation at such a high level decision making positions of the AU because this helps influence policy decisions of the continental body. Zambia has never had representation at the level of commissioners in the African Union.
She said it is for this reason that Zambia is lobbying other countries including regional bodies and those in West Africa to solicit support for the two candidates.
Ambassador Sikaneta is hopeful that the two Zambian candidates will scoop the positions because their credentials speak for themselves.
“It is very important that Zambia is represented at the AU especially at the level of commissioners,” he said.
The African Union is, in January, next year, electing a new Chairperson, the deputy and eight commissioners.