Former Uganda Vice President Dr. Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe has met and held talks with the Chadian Prime Minister on her bid for Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Dr. Wandira arrived in the Chadian capital N’Djamena on Sunday evening aboard the same flight with Chad Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Moussa Faki. She was received at N’Djamena International Airport by Chad Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Madeleine Labeu Alingue.
On Monday, Dr. Wandira met Chadi Prime Minister, H.E. Albert Payimi Padacke to whom she delivered greetings from H.E. President Museveni and the people of Uganda.
“We thank H.E. President Idriss Déby for ensuring that the cordial relationship between Uganda and Chad is furthered. We are both landlocked countries. We have collaboration on issues of security in our regions,” Dr. Wandira told Prime Minister Padacke.
She said Ugandans were very happy to see Chadian President Déby, at the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.
“I come as a Special Envoy of President Museveni. Uganda forwarded my candidature in line with rotation, in terms of which region presents a candidate for Chairperson of the African Union Commission.”
Dr. Wandira said after Southern Africa, it should have been Northern Africa’s turn, then Eastern Africa. After learning that Northern Africa was not presenting a candidate, Eastern Africa endorsed Uganda.
“I am very conversant with issues of the African Union. When I was still Vice President, I was involved in drafting plans for the African Union, participated in planning for agriculture, trade and industry,” she told her host.
She added: “East Africa Presidents elected me to the Panel of the Wise (PoW) of the African Union. I am very conversant with issues of Peace and security in Africa.”
Dr. Wandira commended the Chadian Government for appointing women to leadership citing Africa’s Year of Human Rights with particular focus to the rights of women.
On regional security, she said Heads of State agreed to silence the guns by 2020, ” it is 4 years away.”
She further observed that key issues of integration are very important to the Sahel region for “you are the transit point for Africans in search for opportunities elsewhere in the world”.
According to Dr. Wandira, integrating Africa will address unemployment of youth.
“They youth will move in Africa with the knowledge that we are one people and they can work and trade anywhere in the continent.”
She emphasised the need for research and boosting the area of data gathering to inform African leaders’ decisions.
She told the Prime Minister that his portfolio was key in making sure programmes are implemented noting that the African Union should support Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
“I have been a Minister in Women Development, Public service and even chaired the Presidential Economic Council. I have served on a number of world commissions; Ending Hunger, World Water. I have served as advisor to several countries’ development and to the International Food Policy Institute.”
Pointing out that leadership of the African Union commission is work that requires a robust person, Dr. Wandira told the Prime Minister that she is a believer in long life health and has worked as an Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uganda on Global Population and Health Issues.
“Your Excellency, I present myself as one seasoned in affairs of government and the African Union. I have given support to programming of the African Union and Agenda 2063.”
Prime Minister Padacke expressed apologies on behalf of President Déby who was out of town.
“I have the honour to receive you on behalf of the President and the people of Tchad. Uganda has cooperated very well with Tchad on issues of security. It is very good that African countries share experience,” he said.
“We live in a globalised world, it is necessary that African countries face challenges together. We should work together to respond to security issues.”
Prime Minister Padacke called upon the two countries to continue to work together to create a common market, saying, “otherwise we will continue as producers for developed economies”.
“It is a necessity that the African Union guides development of countries in the interest of our countries and people.”
He said Dr. Wandira’s rich experience points to the fact that she will be an important factor to the destiny of African countries.
He said the message from H.E. President Museveni would be conveyed to H.E. President Déby who is also the Chairman of the African Union.
“I will forward the message with necessary recommendations. His Excellency Déby will respond. I wish you good luck. Hope you will be the next Chairperson of the African Union Commission.”
The meeting held at the Prime Minister’s office in the capital was also attended by Chad Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Madeleine Labeu Alingue and a number of Tchad Government officials.
After the meeting, Dr. Wandira flew to Libreville, the capital and largest city of Gabon, in west central Africa, to solicit more support for her candidature.