*full series also published on Pambazuka: http://www.pambazuka.org/pan-africanism/chair-african-union-commission
The first woman chair of the African Union Commission (AUC) was appointed in 2012 by way of what has been described as a‘…bruising election…’ and ‘…acrimonious contest…’. It took several rounds of voting after the first round ended in stalemate. In the final tally 17 countries voted against her. Given that heads of states have the ultimate say in the AU, her success as a chair was dependent on ‘…circumstances, context and personal flexibility.’ These three factors must be considered when one weighs up the requirements of the job to manage the organisation and guide its work to ensure that its programmes are realised. In so doing he or she must be independent, resolute, resilient and resourceful. With a discordant election, contrary to the usual diplomatic agreements that previous elections have been, Dlamani Zuma faced, at the onset, a challenging time at the helm. Just how will her tenure be judged? Will she been seen as a success or a failure?
Read more here: Yitiha Chair of the Commission Article3