By Fiona Freddy

Former Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed El-Orabi, has appealed to the African Union (AU) to back his country’s candidate, Amb. Moushira Khattab to the position of the Director-General, the United Nations Education and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

El-Orabi told journalists in Abuja that he was in Nigeria to solicit the support of the Nigerian government, adding that the African Union had reached a consensus to offer massive support to Khattab in the UNESCO election billed for October 9, 2017.

Khattab, Ph.D is an Egyptian human rights activist, former politician & diplomat born in 1944. She is the former Minister of Family & Population of Egypt, Former Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador of Egypt to the Republic of South Africa, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well serving in Egypt’s diplomatic missions in Australia, Hungary, Austria and the United Nations (New York and Vienna).

She is also a human rights activist advocating the rights of children and women and the former Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child based at the UN Headquarters in Geneva.

He said: “I am delighted to be in Nigeria. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi sent me to President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver a message to keep the momentum and to support our candidate for the position of the DG of UNESCO.

“As you know, there is an African Union decision on the Egyptian lady, Dr. Mushira Khattab, she would be the candidate for Africa and according to the decision of the AU, all the African countries should support her.

“There is a collective effort by African ambassadors in many capitals of the world and so far we are gaining a very good ground in order to guarantee that she will be the next Director General of UNESCO.

“We would try to keep the momentum of the AU and also the consensus, in order to show that Africa has one voice and one candidate,” he said.

He also told journalists that Egypt has extended invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government to participate in the December 7 investment summit scheduled for Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.

He stressed that the summit is devoted to increasing direct investment, not just in Egypt but in Africa.

He described Nigeria as one of the pillars of Africa, adding that a lot of Nigerian business tycoons will participate in the summit.

“The forum is on how to increase the appetite of direct investors to come to Africa. So, we will devote sessions to agriculture, tourism, even industry in order to facilitate investments in the whole continent.

“We are also inviting the big multinational organisations and many of the investment companies all over the world. This is the vision of President Al- Sisi to awaken the desire of the international community to have investment in Africa,” he added.