A list of candidates, obtained by AFP but not yet made public, includes Kenya’s foreign minister Amina Mohamed, her Chadian opposite number Moussa Faki Mahamat and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Bathily, currently the UN’s special representative for Central Africa.
The vote is due to be held in January at the next AU summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The two remaining names on the list — Agapito Mba Mokuy from Equatorial Guinea and Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi from Botswana — were among the candidates rejected by African leaders in July during a summit in Kigali, Rwanda. None achieved the necessary two-thirds majority in the secret ballot, with some states complaining of a “lack of stature” among the contenders.
A new AU Commission President must be chosen because Dlamini-Zuma declined to run for a second four year term.
The chairmanship traditionally rotates between different regions of the continent with the Anglophone Dlamini-Zuma, from South Africa, replacing French-speaking Jean Ping, from Gabon, in 2012.