Gabon’s Ping becomes AU’s top diplomat

Gabon Foreign Minister Jean Ping was elected on Friday as the African Union’s top diplomat, replacing Mali’s Alpha Oumar Konare as the head of the AU Commission.

”I can’t say too much at the moment, but of course I am very happy,” Ping told a crowd of diplomats, journalists and well-wishers after winning the vote at an AU summit in Ethiopia.

Ping, who is also Gabon’s Deputy Prime Minister, defeated candidates from Burundi, Sierra Leone and Zambia in the contest to become chairperson of the 53-nation body’s Commission. Konare, a former Malian president, had led the AU Commission since 2003.

The AU Commission is the African Union’s executive and administrative branch. — Reuters

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