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Biography of the Deputy Chairperson

ERASTUS J.O. MWENCHA, EGH; MBS

Africa Union Commission

SUMMARY OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Mr. Erastus Mwencha
is a Pan Africanist with over thirty years of progressive experience in policy
formulation and institutional transformation at national, regional and
continental levels in Africa. Throughout his career, he has been an ardent
advocate and zealous engineer of regional integration as a leading principle
for Africas
development. He is passionate about Africa and believes in the continents rise and growth. Mr. Mwencha also believes in teamwork and his
vision is to contribute to Africas growth and prosperity by empowering others to cultivate the
capacity required to achieve economic, social and cultural development.

Mr. Mwencha was
elected in January 2008, as Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission
by the Heads of State and Government of the 54 Member States of the African
Union and re-elected to the same position in July 2012 with an overwhelming
vote of 98%.

 During his first
tenure as Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, Mr. Mwencha placed particular emphasis
on supporting continental development agenda and programs as well as
strengthening internal institutional systems. His strategic focus has been to
upgrade those internal mechanisms that allow the organization to perform its
role on the continent and in the world optimally. In this regard, he has paid
special attention to reinforcing the result-based approach and adopting best
practices to improve the AUCs
effectiveness. He placed the second and last term of his mandate under the
theme: Its Africas time. In this context, he has been leading the design and implementation
of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural a Development Program (CAADP) a
tripartite forum for, among other objectives, promoting policy advocacy for
agricultural development and food security. He has also focused on the
implementation of a continental flagship projects including such as the
Campaign for Accelerated Action for Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa
(CAARMA) and the control and eradication of HIV/AIDS and Malaria, with a view
to raising living standards of people in Africa.

Prior to his election at the AUC, he worked at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for over 25 years and served as Secretary General for ten years. Mr. Mwencha contributed to the transformation of the regional body into a viable economic integration entity, with the largest free trade area (FTA) in Africa. He was particularly instrumental in contributing to the expansion of intra-COMESA trade, developing programs for private sector cooperation and trade with the rest of world, spearheading regional hard and soft infrastructure programs in transport, communication and energy. He also developed the continental negotiating position for the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and actively supported the programs to integrate women in development.

Mr. Mwencha has also held
several senior roles within the Ministry of Industry in Kenya.