President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi could become the next African Union chairman in 2010, following a decision by Southern African Development Community leaders to proffer him up for the position. A SADC meeting held this month proposed Mutharika and the president of Lesotho for the position which falls vacant 2010.
The AU’s current chair is Muammar Gadaff of Libya.
The next AU chairmanship, which operates on rotational basis, will go to SADC next year. SADC leaders then earmarked Mutharika for the position, but the final decision will be arrived at after another contest between Mutharika and other leaders to be held in January next year- though Mutharika is well-placed and favoured to become the next chair.
Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Ettah Banda, has confirmed the development. “SADC leaders settled for Mutharika. The final event to come up with the final name will be held in January. Mutharika’s chances are very high, looking at his political and economic performance,” said Banda.
Mutharika has led Malawi to three successive bumper harvests, rescuing the country once known for befriending perpetual hunger from the pangs of poverty and food insecurity.
“We are happy with the decision of the SADC leaders and the probability of holding the AU chairmanship,” said Banda.