With less than 48 hours to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) deadline for submission of nominees for the post of Director General, Kenya has nominated its Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the top job, which has Nigeria’s Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as a top contender.
Mohamed had been nominated for the same post in 2013 but it eventually went to Mr Roberto Azevedo, who will be stepping down later this year.
Kenya’s Sports minister is believed to have the necessary experience for the post, having been the country’s former Ambassador to the WTO as well as chairing the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in 2015.
Mohammed stands a very good chance alongside Okonjo-Iweala going by permutations from keen pundits who believe that the post will not be going to contenders from countries considered to be heavyweights in international politics like USA, China and other European countries.
“There is no chance of (US President Donald) Trump agreeing to the appointment of a Chinese candidate nor would President Xi Jinping allow an American,” a media report said.
“Neither Washington nor Beijing would agree to either of the two Europeans whose names are being mentioned – Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzales Laya or former EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. A Latin American is ruled out because Mr Azevedo is a Brazilian.
“The view in Geneva is that it is time a woman ran the WTO and the one to watch is Amina Mohamed, currently Kenya’s Sports minister but formerly the country’s much respected ambassador to the WTO.
“If the rest of the continent gets behind her she has a chance of becoming the first Africa to run the WTO. She would be a good choice.”
On Sunday the WTO announced that the first phase of its Selection Process for the Next Director-General is nearing its end as members have until 8 July to submit nominations.
“Once completed, candidates will be invited to a special meeting with members of the General Council to present their views,” the WTO said.
The final list of all candidates will be shared by the WTO today 8th July.