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By Pita Ligaiula in Nairobi, Kenya
The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers has endorsed the appointment of Ambassador Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, from Angola to be the new Secretary General for the 79 members of ACP Group of States.
The endorsement was made Saturday after ACP Council of Ministers Chair and Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch made the announcement on the successful candidate.
Ambassador Chikoti’s term is for five years, from 2020 to 2025 and his appointment comes into effect from 01 March 2020. He succeeds outgoing ACP SG Dr Patrick Gomes from Guyana.
The candidacy for the post of the Secretary General was done on a rotating basis among the six ACP regions.
The new secretary general was to be selected from the Southern African region which was charged with the implementation of a vetting process to shortlist suitable candidates for the post.
The three candidates submitted for consideration by the Bureau of the Council as a result of the process are Ambassador Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti from Angola; Ambassador Dr Brave Rona Ndisale, from Malawi and Ambassador Tadeous T. Chifamba, from Zimbabwe.
Addressing the Council before the appointment, ACP Council of Ministers Chair Pruaitch said the session will witness the appointment of a new Secretary-General to lead the Organisation.
He also paid tribute to the outgoing SG Patrick Gomes.
“It is important that the next man/woman we elect brings with him/her strong leadership and vision. To the outgoing Secretary-General whose tenure comes to an end on 28 February 2020, we salute him for his stewardship. We all recognise, appreciate and applaud his untiring and committed service to our Group.
“Council will also be called upon to make a decision on the issue of top management positions. I invite you to address all these issues in a spirit of unity and solidarity. For united we stand, divided we fall,” Pruaitch said.
Outgoing ACP SG Gomes said it was an honour for him to serve the organisation.
“Now after four years, nine months and seven days, it is incumbent on me to publicly express my deep gratitude to ministers, delegations, regional representatives, guest and staff, with whom, I have had the honour and privilege to work with at this and previous sessions of Council. The wisdom and insightful exchanges of the council have invariably contributed to overall progress and useful achievements so far,” Dr Gomes said.
The ACP Secretary General designate Ambassador Georges Rebelo Chikoti told the Council of Ministers that he would do his best to represent the ACP Group of States.
“I am very conscious about that, and over the past year I have been looking into some of the most important details that relate to our Organisation.
“I know that the challenge that you have given to me is not an easy one. But I do know that I will count on the contributions of everybody, I will count on the support of the whole of the ACP and I will try to be the best I can for everyone in all area of our work,” said Ambassador Chikoti.
Ambassador Chikoti also emphasised the need for Member States to pay up their membership contribution.
“I will have to work quite a lot with member states to make sure that we pay our dues so that our organisation can stand strong.
“But, our organisation’s credibility is, indeed much more important. It will be important that when we talk to other partners we can show them the record of our own contributions so that will be important,” the Angola diplomat said.
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