EAC endorses Amina Mohamed for WTO Director General job

Sports CS Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s candidate for WTO Director General post/ COURTESY

The East African Community has ensorsed Ambassador Amina Mohamed’s candidature for the WTO Director General post.

In a letter dated October 4, reference is made to a communication by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who is also the EAC chairman, seeking the region’s endorsement of the Kenyan candidate.

EAC Council of Ministers Vincent Biruta there were favourable responses from member states on the request.

“In this regard, I would like to inform you that Ambassador Amina C. Mohamed is endorsed as the candidate of the East African Community to the post of Director General of the World Trade Organization,” Biruta said in the letter addressed to respective EAC ministers.

This comes days after Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry backed Mohamed for the post.

In a statement released on Friday, minister Biruta said as the EAC Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment chairman, he was pleased to announce “the unanimous support and endorsement offered by the SCTIFI to the candidacy of Amina Mohamed for the position of the WTO Director General”.

Mohamed is among five candidates who will progress to the next stage of interviews for the WTO top job. The others are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia and Liam Fox of the UK.

Africa, which has not led the organization before, has two candidates in the race, both women.

Analysts say Mohamed faces a huge challenge from Ngozi due to the huge and influential West Africa bloc.

In July, the East Africa Business Council endorsed Mohammed,saying her joining of the WTO would be timely as Africa is keenly focusing on the African Free Trade Area.

It said the Sports Cabinet Secretary is a strong advocate for the actualisation of the AfCFTA and has also chaired the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference held in Nairobi in 2015, the Dispute Settlement Body and the WTO’s General Council in 2005.

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