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Raila takes his first assignment at AU

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga during after the party's parliamentary group meeting at Orange house. March 13, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor
ODM Party leader Raila Odinga during after the party's parliamentary group meeting at Orange house. March 13, 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor

ODM leader Raila Odinga will today preside over a meeting of the programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, his first continental job since his appointment as special envoy.

Raila left the country on Sunday for Zimbabwe for the meeting. He is expected back today.

He will preside over the event in his capacity as the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.

Raila’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango – in a dispatch to newsrooms – said the former Prime Minister will use the meeting to lay his vision for project preparation, resource mobilisation and financing mechanisms.

“He will also share his thoughts on attainment of smart and integrated infrastructure development, among other matters,” Onyango said.

Last week, the ODM leader attended his first international event at the opening of the 11th AU Extraordinary Summit in Ethiopia.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also attended the Addis Ababa meeting which focused on reforms and restructuring of Africa.

The opposition chief accepted his AU position on October 20 and is among other duties mandated to strengthen AU’s efforts, plan and coordinate the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), mobilise political support from member states and regional economic communities.

Some of his other responsibilities include building political buy-in and ownership of member states, mobilising Africa’s partners and resources to assist member states to develop their infrastructure.

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Raila is expected to pay particular attention to the missing links along the transnational highway corridors identified as part of the Trans-African Highways Network, with a view to facilitating their development and modernisation.

The envoy will also focus on the continental high-speed train, which is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, in the context of the relevant African Union decisions.