Kenya’s Dr Peter Mathuki has been appointed as the new EAC Secretary General.
Kenya will also chair the Community, taking over from Rwanda.
Mathuki was appointed by the 21st Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State that was held virtually. He was also sworn in virtually.
He is the executive director of the East African Business Council and will officially take over on April 25, 2021.
According to his profile on EABC, Mathuki holds an MBA and PhD in Strategic Management and Regional Integration from the University of Nairobi.
He has served in several regional and international organisations.
He served as a Member of Parliament of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), where he chaired the Committee responsible for Legal affairs and good governance and served in the Committees of Accounts, Trade and Investment.
Prior to this, he also served as a Director in charge of International Labour Standards at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-Africa) which later became (ITUC-Africa).
Additionally, Mathuki has worked for European Union programmes on institutional strengthening for Africa based in several African countries.
He is currently involved in the process of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and formation of the African Business Council.
— EAC Media Centre (@eacmediacentre) February 27, 2021
He succeeds Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko of Burundi, whose tenure critics have described as a “disaster” and lacking in consensus building.
Critics accuse him of having been at loggerheads with almost all the major organs of EAC, including the Council of Ministers, East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice, a report by the EastAfrican said.
“There are many things including relationships with other EAC organs that could have been done better,” Council of Ministers chairperson Prof Manasseh Nshuti, also Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of EAC Affairs said.
EALA MP Abdikadir Aden of Kenya said Mfumukeko failed to offer the needed leadership.
“During his time, the Community has drifted apart and the organs and institutions of the EAC are almost dysfunctional and not moving in the same direction,” Aden said.
The 21st Summit, for instance, was postponed for three times because of lack of quorum.
Mfumukeko, however, defended his term in his last speech, listing institutional reforms as his single greatest achievement as Secretary General.
“My second biggest achievement has been in resource mobilisation. We have continued to receive strong support from our Development Partners, a clear indication of their confidence in the EAC,” Mfumukeko said.
He added that the EAC has made achievements under the four pillars of integration, namely the: Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation during the five years that I have been in office”
“For the past five years, successful resource mobilisation efforts were registered, leading to the signing of financing agreements with various partners, generating grants of more than $500million,” he said.
Mathuki will faces a challenge of bringing EAC members together following infighting in the community and leading in post-Covid-19 rebuilding in the bloc.