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Candidacy for Deputy AU Commission: The Gambia Picks Fatoumatta Tambajang

The Chronicle is reliably informed that The Gambia has designated former vice-president Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang as her candidate to run for election of vice-chair of the African Union Commission. In elections to be conducted during the African Union summit of January/February 2021, two other Gambians, namely Dr Katim Touray and Ernest Aubee, have been equally designated to try luck as African Union Commissioners for Rural Economy and Agriculture.

In practice, Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang’s candidacy has been endorsed by the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following her designation by the government of The Gambia. Mrs Tambajang will therefore contest the position of vice-chair of the African Union Commission as a delegate of the ECOWAS region along with Ambassador Matha Ama Akyaa Paubee of Ghana who is also endorsed by the same regional entity.

Dr Katim Touray, a former researcher for the Ministry of Agriculture in The Gambia and Ernest Aubee who served as Head of Agriculture Division at the ECOWAS Commission, are Gambia’s choice as aspirants to be African Union Commissioners for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Their candidacy has been endorsed by ECOWAS as the regional organization also validated the designation of Luc Marie Constant Gnakadja of Benin for the same position aimed by Dr Touray and Mr Aubee.

Dr Katim Touray

The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has on 28th August, 2020 submitted the list of the three selected Gambian officials and their regional peers from countries of the West African region competing for the advertised positions at the African Union Commission. “This first step does not mean that the seat of A.U vice chair is a done deal for Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang and her Gambian compatriots vying for positions at the African Commission. The Gambia must begin a campaign of intense diplomatic lobbying to optimize the chances of her candidates. Gambian diplomats may seek support from other regional blocks and countries in the continent to that effect”, said our sources in Abuja.

The African Union’s Commission is composed of a chairperson, a deputy chairperson and eight commissioners elected for a four-year term, renewable once. The regions from which the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are appointed are entitled to one commissioner each. All other regions are entitled to two commissioners. A lot of current AU Commissioners are either elected or reelected in 2017, hence the new elections in 2021.

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