Chad’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has been named the new African Union (AU) Commission chairperson, beating 4 others to succeed South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Several delegates leaving the election hall confirmed the win.
Former Burundian president Pierre Buyoya confirmed Faki’s victory, telling reporters it came after a final round with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohamed.
The 56-year-old Mahamat has been at the forefront of the fight against Islamists in Nigeria, Mali and the Sahel and has promised “development and security” will be top of his agenda as chief of the continental bloc.
He said he dreams of an Africa where the “sound of guns will be drowned out by cultural songs and rumbling factories” and pledged to streamline the bureaucratic AU during his 4-year term in office.
Member states elected him after 7 rounds of voting, according to a statement from Kenya congratulating him on his victory.
Other losing candidates were from Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Senegal.