At the recent public ‘debate’, part from Senegal’s Prof Abdoulaye Bathily all the other candidates for African Union Commission Chair read from prepared scripts. They all had interesting things to say on the issues brought up, but clearly Bathily emerged as the more passionate and pan-Africanist candidate with a clear vision of what he would bring to the position.
Last Friday, 9 December 2016, the AU Conference Hall was the theatre of what was flagged to be a ‘first’ in the history of the African Union. On the evening of that day, a live broadcast of the first of its kind ‘debate’ among the five candidates vying for the position of Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union was programmed.
Indeed, there was a live broadcast. But what was covered can hardly meet the definition of a debate as we know it! But, let’s be fair. The organisers of the event, The AU African Leadership Academy, need to be applauded for their courage, given the circumstances, to launch such an initiative.