The nomination process for the election of Chairpersons and Commissioners to the African Union Commission closes on September 4, 2020, and already Ghana’s top diplomat, His Excellency Kwesi Quartey, who is currently the Vice Chairman of the A.U.Commission looks set to enjoy mass support throughout the 55 countries of Africa as the Coalition of Supporters Unions of Africa (COSUA), declares its support for his candidature for election as the new Chairman of the Commission.
This was contained in an address delivered by the Founder and President of COSUA, Advocate Sarfo Abebrese during a video conference organized by the Government of Ghana on 23rd July, 2020 in which COSUA was represented by 12 delegates from 8 countries to affirm their support for the Ghanaian Diplomat and urge the Government of Ghana to file his nomination.
COSUA, which signed a Partnership Agreement with the African Union in April 2018, is a Pan-African organization which uses sports to build African unity and pursue peace and development throughout the continent of Africa.
The organization was inaugurated in September 2006 by the Supporters Union of Ghana (SUGHA) which had emerged from the ashes of the May 9 Disaster to build national and continental unity through sports.
COSUA, which currently boasts of representation in 50 out of the 55 countries of Africa has been instrumental in talking Kwesi Quartey out of his retirement plans after the current Chairman, Mr. Faki Mahamat of Chad incurred the displeasure of many Pan- Africanists, with his dismissal of the A.U. Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Arikana Chimbohori-Quao, last year.
In the said video, lawyer Sarfo Abebrese, who is also an Attorney and Counselor-At-Law of the New York Supreme Court in the United States of America, urged the Government and people of Ghana to support the former Deputy Foreign Minister and Ghana’s Ambassador to the African Union, to clinch the A.U.C Chairmanship for Ghana for the first time in our history, taking a cue from similar achievements by the likes of the late U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, current U.N. Under Secretary General for Africa, Her Excellency Hanna Tetteh, U.N.Chief for West Africa, His Excellency, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, to mention just a few.
Mr. Abebrese, who is also the Convenor of the ‘Friends of H.E.Kwesi Quartey’ forum on WhatsApp, thanked the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo for the opportunity given his organization to engage government on the issue of the A.U.Commission Chairmanship elections, noting that His Excellency Kwesi Quartey is the first Ghanaian to get this far, having served as the Vice Chairperson of the African Union Commission for the past four years.
Mr. Abebrese said that during these four years, Mr. Quartey has worked closely with A.U International Partner countries like China, the USA and the European Union to enhance Africa’s global significance in all areas of life.
He mentioned the 10-year Implementation Plan which His Excellency Quartey initiated as a Development Blueprint out of the A.U’s Agenda 2063, to pursue poverty alleviation, industrialization and development as a means of making Africa an effective global player, which the continent needs him to continue.
Advocate Sarfo Abebrese also referred to Mr. Quartey’s contribution to the hosting of the AcFTA Conference in Accra in 2012 when he was Ghana’s Ambassador to the African Union, having been so appointed by President Agyekum Kuffour earlier on.
He mentioned some of the flagship programmes of the current Nana Akufo-Addo administration like Planting for Food and Jobs, Free SHS and Programme For Infrastrucural Development, which Mr. Quartey had successfully implemented at the A.U.Commission through the Comprehensive Agriculture Programme, engaging all A.U.Partners for Technical and Vocational Training which he has vigorously pursued as a means of stemming youth migration out of Africa, not forgetting the commissioning of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa which he led the A.U delegation to launch at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in 2017.
Mr. Abebrese further highlighted His Excellency Quartey’s role in negotiating for Africa to host the Hydro-power and renewable energy conference focusing on solar and wind energy at the said conference, noting that after his return Mr. Quartey visited His Excellency Akufo-Addo first, to brief him, before proceeding to Nigeria, Ethiopia and other countries to do same.
“Ambassador Quartey’s role in involving the African Diaspora in our developmental programmes is an indication of his sterling commitment for the integration of the diaspora as the 6th Region of Africa. He has attended forums of the Carribean Community and championed the need to establish linkages for global diaspora networks and has engaged the Prime Ministers of countries like Guyana, Barbados, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica etc and contributed immensely to the successful implementation of the Year of Return Programme after hosting the Black Congressional Caucus with President Akufo-Addo to build higher interactions with the African Diaspora as the 6th Region, ” Mr. Abebrese concluded.
Other participants in the video conference who affirmed their support for H.E. Kwesi Quartey’s candidature included, Barrister Ismael Yahya Olawale, President of COSUA Nigeria and Vice President in charge of Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Zana Coulibaly, Director of Operations, COSUA Cote d’Ivoire and Francophone West Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki from South Africa who is the Director for Protocol and International Relations.
Others are, Mr. Yoseph Brehane, President of COSUA Ethiopia and Vice President in charge of East Africa, Mr. Daniel Mundea (Zambia) the Chief Director of Operations Mr Francis Omokuba Liboyi, president of COSUA Kenya and Director of operations for East Africa and Ms. Faustina Kandongo Ekandjo of COSUA Namibia who represented Northern SADC.
The rest are, Mr. Danso Abebrese, Executive Director of COSUA USA, Mr. Joseph Oduro (Canada), Executive Director of COSUA North America and Mr. Kwasi Amfo-Kwakye, Director of Media Relations who served as the Convenors for Team COSUA during the conference.
All the countries represented pledged their commitment to running a grass-roots campaign for His Excellency Kwesi Quartey by thronging their respective airports with 1,000 members wearing Kwesi Quartey and A.U tee shirts, flags and other paraphernalia to welcome him, in each of the 50 African countries in which COSUA is represented.
They believe that show of mass support will sway their leaders’ votes in favour of Ghana’s candidate and urged the Government of Ghana to “nominate Amb. Quartey for Africa to bring normalcy to the African Union Commission leadership and end the perceived foreign dependence that characterized the regrettable and ignominious sacking of the A.U.Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Arikana Chimbohori-Quao, ” they pleaded.
The African Union Commission elections are slated for February 2021, and only the Heads of State of the 55 African countries are eligible to vote.
“His Excellency Kwesi Quartey (in smock) welcoming COSUA President Sarfo Abebrese, Chief Director of Operations Daniel Mundea (Zambia), and Director of Foreign Relations, Andile Mbeki (South Africa) to the A.U.Conference in Addis Ababa last year”.