Senegal’s African Union Commission hopeful Professor Abdoulaye Bathily, 69, has met with President Jacob Zuma, as the race to replace Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma hots up.

Speaking during an interview with News24, Bathily said that he met with president Zuma on Monday, as he lobbied for support from across the continent.

According to him, “I met with president Zuma and some of the ANC members so that I could introduce myself to them. I stand for the unity of Africa and so I know quite a number of Africa’s struggle movements,” Bathily said.

 He said he had already taken his campaign to Morocco, Madagascar and Mozambique where he met President Filipe Nyusi.

Bathily added that “uniting Africa” was his campaign strategy. He said it was important for Africa to come together and strive to become independent if the continent was to talk successfully about “sovereignty”.

Bathily said he was confident that he would be elected the next AU commission chair, adding that he had the “capacity and experience”.