Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat is the next African Union (AU) Commission chairperson.
The results were informally announced by jubilation in the halls of the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa shortly before 17:00 east African time.
Mahamat is said to have received 28 votes in the final round of voting, while Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamad got 24 heads of state behind her.
Lobbying for the post was intense in the months ahead of the election. Mahamat’s nomination was said to have been handed in just before the deadline three months ago.
He is also Chad’s former prime minister and is known as a veteran statesman and diplomat, as well as a pan-Africanist who speaks French, English and Arabic.
Mahamat succeeds Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was lobbying for a woman to follow her. She will be returning to South Africa in April after a handover period.