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Kenya’s WTO candidate pledges reforms if elected

Amina Mohamed promised to listen “attentively” to their concerns and offered an immediate programme to use trade to help the world recover from the effects of Covid-19.

Kenya’s WTO candidate pledges reforms at global trade body if elected www.africanstand.com


(African Stand) — Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s candidate for the World Trade Organization race for the director-general’s post, has written directly to global ministers of commerce promising “to take responsibility” for urgent reforms if they vote her in, The Nation reported.

To each of the ministers, she promised to listen “attentively” to their concerns and offered an immediate programme to use trade to help the world recover from the effects of Covid-19.

“The WTO needs an active and impassioned director-general who will combine leadership with inclusiveness,” she wrote last week in a letter copied to all ministers of trade from the 164 member states of the WTO.

“I have the political stature, the commitment, and the record of achievement in high-level trade negotiations to do this successfully and to be effective from the outset.”

Limited by travel restrictions imposed to contain Covid-19 across the world, Ms. Mohamed, currently, the Sports CS, who previously served as Foreign minister, has been campaigning virtually, speaking to diplomats posted to Nairobi, attending business panel discussions as well as speaking to trade policymakers across the world.

Pitch finalisation

Her message to the ministers comes as candidates for the WTO director-general’s post rush to finalise their pitches, known within the organisation’s circles as “making themselves known to members”.

The phase, which started in July, will end on September 7.

After that, the chair of the general council, which is an organ of ambassadors posted to the WTO, with the chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, currently held by Honduras, the chair of the Trade Policy Review Body (now occupied by Iceland), will start to consult with all WTO members “to assess their preferences and seek to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.”

Ms. Mohamed is competing against Mexican-Lebanese candidate Jesús Seade Kuri, Nigerian-American contender Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Egyptian-Swiss candidate Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh.

Others include Mr. Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova, Ms. Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, Mr. Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Liam Fox of the UK.

Johnny Mapesa

Written by Johnny Mapesa

Johnny Mapesa is an award-winning Kenyan journalist who is driven with passion and has worked for several media brands both locally and internationally and currently working with African Stand.

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