Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has been looked over for the chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The 56-year-old lost to Chad’s Moussa Mahamat in the seventh round of voting by heads of state.
Mr. Mahamat beat CS Amina by 12 votes after collecting 38 votes against Amina’s 26 in Addis Ababa on Monday.
Amina beat Senegal’s Dr. Abdoulauye Bathily, Equatorial Guinea’s Mba Mokuy and Botswana’s Pelonomi Venson Moitoi to emerge second placed for the job.
Mahamat will take over from South Africa’s Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose term began in 2012 and ended in June.
She, however, had her tenure extended by six months to give room for potential candidates to campaign for votes after African leaders failed to get a two-thirds majority vote for a successor.
Moussa Mahamat, 56, has served in the African Union since 2008 as Chadian Foreign Minister. He has also served as prime minister in the west African nation.
CS Amina’s loss to Mahamat is a huge blow to Kenya who heavily campaigned for her to get the African Union Commission job.
President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto reached out to 51 of the 53 AU member states to lobby leaders to vote for Amina who Uhuru described as a focused public servant, known for the positions she has taken on issues affecting Africa and Kenya.
In a statement released, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu congratulated the elected African Union Commission chair for a race well won, pledging the Kenyan government’s support.
The statement also congratulated Ambassador Mohamed for her courageous race and thanked her for her strong showing.
”Her candidacy marked the re-emergence of Kenya at the very heart of the pan-African project. Kenya is grateful for the strong campaign she ran, which put pan-African themes of self-reliance, of sovereignty, of openness to trade at its very heart.”