Fozia Amin has departed the position of President of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) to take up political office in her own country, Ethiopia, thus opening up an opportunity for the reconfiguration of AOMA’s top leadership.
Amin has been appointed minister of tourism and culture in Ethiopia. Burundi’s Ombudsman, Edouard Nduwimana, has taken over as president and is to be flanked by South Africa’s counterpart, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, as first vice president and Adama Toungara from Code d’Ivoire as second vice president.
In terms of the AOMA constitution, an office-bearer vacancy may be filled by the executive committee from amongst the committee’s members for the remainder of the term until the next General Assembly. The new appointees will serve until November 2018 when the next Assembly – to be hosted by Rwanda – elects new office-bearers.
AOMA is a continental body of 40 Public Protector-type institutions and an additional four sectoral Ombudsman institutions, including the South African Military Ombud and the Western Cape Police Ombudsman. It exists to advance the ideals of good governance and human rights in Africa by supporting and protecting the independence and development of Ombudsman institutions in the continent.
Coomenting on the appointment Mkhwebane said “I am humbled by the faith that my colleagues in the executive committee have shown in me by appointing me to this position of responsibility. The institution of the Ombudsman has a critical role to play in Africa regarding the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in relation to entrenching a culture of clean governance and promoting the values of peace and security, the upholding of human rights and respect for the rule of law across the continent.”
As the First Vice President, Adv. Mkhwebane will, in the absence of the President, preside over all meetings of AOMA, be in charge of the general supervision of the affairs and operations of the association, act as its spokesperson, and perform other duties as may be required by the committee.