2013 is an auspicious year for Kenya as the country will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of its Independence.
Almost fifty years ago, a nation was born. In the same way, the New Year promises its own fresh beginning.
The General Elections on 4 March 2013 will usher in a new Executive and new Legislature; one which includes an inaugural Senate. Kenyans will also elect County Governors and Assemblies for the first time, with the aim of bringing government and resources closer to the people.
On that day, Kenyans will elect those they wish to lead them into the future, as the next fifty years of the nation's history gets underway. They will have their say on who governs them and how they are governed. Their choice will define and shape the country for future generations.
What is clear is the yearning and desire of most Kenyans for peace and stability, economic development, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They demand that the laws of the land be applied fairly and consistently across the board.
I firmly believe that Kenya's future remains incredibly bright with the full implementation of the 2010 Constitution.
It is the Constitution, and its nascent implementation, which has underpinned the progressive renewal of institutions and helped to renew public confidence in the State, such as with the Judiciary. Those elected to leadership positions should uphold the Constitution and build strong national institutions to underpin democracy and further progress.
New Year is a time of hope and aspirations for the future. My wish for Kenya in the year ahead is a commitment by all to a free, fair and credible election, and a government transition marked by peace and the rule of law. It is to this end that the AU Panel continues to support and encourage the people and the government of Kenya.
Kofi Annan, Chair of the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities