Kenyan politician, Raila Odinga has been named African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development. Odinga, the country’s former opposition party leader, saw his appointment come months after he made peace with the country’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta congratulated Odinga on his appointment this week, saying that he looks forward to working with him for the benefit of Kenya, the East African Community and Africa at large.
“His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta sends his hearty congratulations to the Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga on his appointment today to the high position of the Africa Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, State House Spokesperson, Kanze Dena said following the announcement.
“The appointment of the Hon. Raila Odinga to the High Representative position is a great honour not only to the Hon. Raila but also to the people and the Republic of Kenya. The Hon. Raila Odinga has over the years been at the forefront in the development of modern infrastructure as an economic enabler and as an instrument for regional and international integration,” she added.
Aside from his exploits as the leader of Kenya’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party, Odinga is known for the infrastructure development work he did in his past assignments in Government as Minister for Roads and Public Works, and as Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government.
Under Odinga, several key infrastructure projects were conceived and successfully implemented, including road by-passes in the capital city of Nairobi and other major towns across the country.
Following the announcement, President Uhuru Kenyatta thanked African Union Commission Chairperson, MoussaFaki Mahamat, for appointing “this distinguished son of Kenya, a patriot and a high achieving professional to the high-profile position.”
“It is befitting that the appointment has been announced on Mashujaa Day, an auspicious day when as a country, we are united in celebrating the outstanding men and women whose selfless service has contributed to the shaping of the Kenyan nation,” Kanze said on behalf of the President.
She was referring to Kenya’s Hero’s Day (Mashujaa Day), held every year on the 20th of October.
Odinga’s appointment comes at a time when President Kenyatta has launched an ambitious strategy aimed at boosting Kenya’s development. The initiative, dubbed the Big 4 Development Agenda, seeks to improve Kenya’s manufacturing industry, while ensuring universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security for the country’s growing population.