H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha
Former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Former Secretary-General of COMESA
Mr. Erastus Mwencha is a Pan Africanist with over thirty years of progressive experience in policy formulation and institutional transformation at national, regional and continental levels in Africa. Mr. Mwencha was elected in January 2008, as Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission by the Heads of State and Government of the 54 Member States of the African Union and re-elected to the same position in July 2012 with an overwhelming vote of 98%.
Prior to his election at the AUC, he worked at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for over 25 years and served as its Secretary General for ten years. Mr. Mwencha contributed to the transformation of the regional body into a viable economic integration entity, with the largest free trade area (FTA) in Africa. He was particularly instrumental in contributing to the expansion of intra-COMESA trade, developing programs for private sector cooperation and trade with the rest of world, spearheading regional hard and soft infrastructure programs in transport, communication and energy. He also developed the continental negotiating position for the Doha Round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and actively supported the programs to integrate women in development.Mr. Mwencha has also held several senior roles within the Ministry of Industry in Kenya.