Raila Odinga has advanced significantly toward securing the chairmanship of the African Union Commission, following the continent’s Executive Council’s unanimous adoption of a key decision on Friday.

The decision designates it as the Eastern Africa region’s turn to nominate candidates for the position.

This development positions Mr Odinga as the most probable candidate, who could either secure the seat through the election scheduled for February 2025 or through consensus nomination.

“This marks a significant breakthrough for the Eastern Africa region in presenting candidates for the AUC Chairperson position,” said Musalia Mudavadi, Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary and Minister for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.

Mr Mudavadi, a proactive advocate for the decision during the 22nd Extraordinary Session of the AU Executive Council sitting in Addis Ababa, highlighted its alignment with Kenya’s objectives.

The decision adheres to the Statute of the AU Commission, the Rules of Procedure of African Union policy organs, and decisions made by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

“It is now apparent that the Rt. Hon Raila Odinga will contest for the AU Commission Chairperson position. Consequently, there are no remaining technical or legal impediments barring Kenya from presenting its candidate,” he said in a statement.

Additionally, the decision stipulates that the Northern Africa region will nominate candidates for the Deputy Chairperson role, while the Central, Southern, and Western regions will vie for the six commissioner positions.

Mr Mudavadi underscored Kenya’s commitment to collaborating within the 14-member Eastern Africa region to garner consensus around its candidate.

Ongoing efforts aim to engage all other regions, ensuring the election of effective AUC leadership fosters continental unity.