Close this search box.

Master’s Degree Among Qualifications For African Union Commision Chair

AU Master's Degree

What’s in the Know

  • Raila recently announced his bid for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson
  • The opposition leader wants to succeed Chad’s Moussa Faki in 2025
  • He has garnered endorsements from both local and regional entities including support from the ruling party UDA
  • AUC chairperson’s job profile requires certain mandatory academic qualifications amongst them a Master’s Degree
  • As AUC Chairperson he will not be allowed to engage in any political activity locking him out of the 2027 Presidential Election
Master's Degree
Azimio leader Raila Odinga with AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki / The Star

As the African Union (AU) prepares to choose its next Commission Chairperson, there’s a heated competition among member states for the powerful role. Political bigwigs are reportedly involved in private talks and public campaigns including the President himself.


The AU chairperson is selected from Africa’s sitting heads of state on a rotational basis, the chairperson has a four-year term and runs the organization’s secretariat, the repository of its institutional expertise.

Former Prime Minister of Chad Moussa Faki was first elected in February 2017, beating Kenya’s candidate, former Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. He was reelected for his final four-year term in February 2017.

The chairperson will also be the Chief Executive Officer, legal representative of the AU and the Commission’s Chief Accounting Officer.

The Chairperson of the AUC is elected by the Assembly for a four-year term, with the option for one renewal.

Also to be appointed are the deputy and six commissioners, forming the top leadership of the Commission alongside the chair.

Monique Nsanzabaganwa of Rwanda currently serves as the deputy, marking the first time a woman has held this position.

During last week’s press briefing at Raila’s Karen home, where the ODM leader was flanked by Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Odinga asserted he was ready and willing to serve Africa in this capacity.

“If the leadership of Africa desires my services, I am prepared and offer myself to serve this continent. I am ready to pursue the chairmanship of the African Union,” he said.

Obasanjo endorsed the Azimio leader’s candidature and placed the former Primer Minister as the best suited for the job. The former President emphasized the importance of having an East African leader assume the Commission’s chairperson mantle, signalling a potential shift in regional representation within the African Union leadership.

Expressing worry about the “brain drain” trend, Odinga expressed dissatisfaction with African youth having to pursue opportunities abroad because of difficult economic conditions. He promised to use his leadership to change Africa’s fate and establish the continent as an economic powerhouse.

As a Pan-Africanist, I firmly believe that Africa should aspire for more. We deserve better,” Odinga affirmed. “We must reverse this trend and harness all our resources for the accelerated socio-economic growth of our continent.”

Highlighting his time as the AU special envoy for infrastructure development in Africa from 2018 to 2023, Odinga underscored his credentials for the role, pointing out his deep understanding of the socio-economic conditions throughout the continent.

Read Also: Escalation of DRC Conflict Threatens Regional Stability

“This role gave me a unique advantage to gain insights into every African country. I am confident that by collaborating with these nations, we can lift Africa.” Odinga stated.

AUC chairperson’s job profile, posted on the AU website requires that one meet certain mandatory academic qualifications amongst them a Master’s Degree.

The Master’s Degree can either be in Law, International Relations, Economics, Diplomacy, Management, Business Administration, Political Science, Social Sciences or a closely related field from a recognized academic institution.

A PhD is considered an added advantage for interested candidates.

According to his online-biography, the Azimio leader holds an MSc (Master of Science) in Mechanical Engineering from Germany.

Prospective candidates must also demonstrate fluency in at least one AU language and provide evidence of transformational leadership.

The official languages of the AU include Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili, among other African languages. He is fluent in Kiswahili and English.

Odinga is also required by the selection committee to show 20 years of relevant professional and international experience in leadership.

Read More: Glitz and Glamour as Ivory Coast Seals KSH 1.1 Billion AFCON Triumph

“At least ten (10) years served in a progressively senior leadership role(s) preferably in an intergovernmental organization or national government/public service, international or regional institution,” the AU states in its AUC chairperson job profile.

Raila must exhibit experience in transformational leadership, showcasing strategic vision and demonstrated abilities in managing intricate organizations at national, regional, or international levels.

Furthermore, he must illustrate a track record of establishing transparent standards for accountability, integrity, cost-effectiveness, risk management, and maintaining a firm stance against fraud and corruption.

Should Raila receive the continent’s backing and bag the prestigious role, he will replace Chad’s Moussa Faki and relocate to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU headquarters, from where he will operate.

Subscribe to Switch TV for more exciting content


Get the latest and greatest stories delivered straight to your phone. Subscribe to our Telegram channel today!

Popular Post