Cabinet endorses Venson-Moitoi as AU Chairperson candidate

12 May 2016 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 MAY (NAMPA) – Cabinet on Tuesday approved the endorsement of Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi as candidate for chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.
Addressing a media conference in the capital on Thursday, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Tjekero Tweya said Cabinet gave its approval to the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation to fully support Venson-Moitoi for the position.
The AU Commission’s current chairperson, South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will step down in July.
A journalist by profession, Venson-Moitoi is the eighth Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana.
She took office on 31 October 2014.
According to the website of the Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Botswana, her areas of specialty lie in Public Service Management and Administrative Systems Analysis and design. She has a Diploma in Local Government from the Institute of Public Service in Connecticut in the Unites States of America.
She holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Social Development based on a review of her work and writing on government and governance.
Dr Venson-Moitoi started her career as a journalist for a private publication in 1970 until 1973 when she joined the ranks of the Public Service.
Her service lasted for 20 years between 1973 and 1993 in which she held various positions, the last as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing.
As a long-time member of the Botswana Democratic Party, she served in various capacities within the party before she was elected as Specially Elected Member of Parliament in 1999.
Her political career has seen her win subsequent elections and continually holding various cabinet portfolios in Works, Transport and Communications, Trade and Industry, Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Science and Technology as well as Education and Skills Development.
Meanwhile, it was reported in local daily newspaper, Namibian Sun, last month that Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has declined nominations from a number of African countries to head the AUC, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The minister was quoted as saying: “Here back home, I also have a lot to do. President Hage Geingob just launched the Harambee plan, and with just one year into his administration, I want to be here to help and put in the work. We have work to do back home”.