Kenya’s veteran politician Raila Odinga was on Saturday appointed as the High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa by the African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.
While announcing the appointment, Mahamat said he expected the High Representative to support and strengthen the efforts of the Commission’s relevant departments.
“This decision is part of the African Union’s drive to expedite the integration of the continent through infrastructure, in order to promote economic growth and sustainable development,” Mahamat said.
Odinga’s mandate will include mobilizing further political support from member states and the regional economic communities and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent.
“He will also support the Commission and NEPAD initiatives to encourage increased commitment from development partners,” Mahamat said.
Odinga has vied for Kenya’s presidency four times, losing all those times.
His last attempt came in the country’s 2017 elections, which he lost out to current president Uhuru Kenyatta, who is now serving his second and final term.
Though Odinga initially alleged electoral fraud in the vote, he joined hands with President Kenyatta earlier this year, in what has been hailed both locally and internationally as a powerful peace initiative.
Odinga jhas since announced that he has accepted the role.