Kenya Nominates CS Amina for WTO Director-General

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Sports CS Amina Mohamed in 2017.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Sports CS Amina Mohamed in 2017.
    PSCU
  • UPDATE: ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday July 16 declared his support for Sports CS Amina Mohamed's candidature for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organisation.

    "Wishing the best of luck to CS Amina,  our country's nominee for WTO Director-General as she makes her case in Geneva today. Amina is a skilled diplomat and Pan-Africanist with compassion and proven commitment to multilateralism and development. I have no doubt  that she will do a fine job at the WTO," the Special AU envoy tweeted.

    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru also voice her support stating, "My sister and friend Amina, I wish you the very best as you make your case in Geneva today for the DG Position at the World Trade Organization. In the words of late American poet, Maya Angelou, “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within”. Keep shinning on!"

    President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, July 9, voiced his support for Sports CS Amina Mohamed's candidature for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organisation.

    In a statement to newsrooms, Uhuru stated that given the opportunity, CS Amina's leadership at the WTO would be a game-changer, that would enable the institution to meet the requirements of its Member States and to better address the evolving demands of the 21 st Century.

    "From a personal perspective, my experience working with her over the years and watching her work with others has convinced me that she is an effective leader and without doubt, a master consensus builder. She listens to advice and works hard always to find common ground. 

    "Owing to her outstanding credentials, I do again strongly believe that Amb. Mohamed will enjoy broad support from countries across the world, with our pledge as Kenya not only to support her but to continue," he noted adding that the CS Mohamed had served the country across several ministerial portfolios. 

    If selected, Amina would be the first African and the first woman to serve at the helm of the World Trade Organization.  


    Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed was on July 7, 2020, presented as Kenya's nominee for the post of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General.

    The diplomat will face off against five other nominees in a bid to succeed the current Director-General, Roberto Azevêdo, who announced that he would step down on  August 31.

    The other candidates are; Jesús Seade Kuri (Mexico), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt), Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova), Yoo Myung-hee (Korea).

    Ambassador Mohamed has had a distinguished diplomatic career since 1986 and rising through the ranks to become Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission to the Republic of Kenya at Geneva in 2000.

    Sports CS Amina Mohamed speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium at the ASK Kisumu Showground in Mamboleo, Kisumu County on June 24, 2020.
    Sports CS Amina Mohamed speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium at the ASK Kisumu Showground in Mamboleo, Kisumu County on June 24, 2020.
    Twitter

    As the Permanent Representative, she represented Kenya in the UN system, and the WTO among other international organisations.

    CS Amina has a wealth of experience under her belt as she chaired three key WTO bodies: the Dispute Settlement Body, the Trade Policy Review Body and the General Council during her tenure in Geneva.

    In addition to pushing for Kenya's interest at the WTO, she has participated in the drafting and interpretation of International Trade Treaties.

    Since July 2011, CS Amina has served as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at Nairobi.

    "She is an excellent strategist and visionary anticipating the management needs of every organisation she has been involved with. With her profound knowledge of the WTO and her strong managerial skills, Ambassador Amina Mohamed has all the required competencies to lead the WTO into the future," her profile on the WTO website reads.

    The Cabinet Secretary is fluent in English, Russian, Kiswahili and has a working knowledge of French.

    Here's a breakdown of her opponents:

    1. Jesús Seade Kuri (Mexico), who is the Under-Secretary for North-America (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Chief negotiator for the USMCA (US, Mexico and Canda Trade Agreement)

    2. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria), is a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. She was recently appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support fof the fight against Covid-19. 

    3. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt) has played key roles in trade policy and diplomacy for 35 years. He served as the Director of the trade-in services and investment division of the WTO.

    4. Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova) has served as the minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova and has had a distinugished carer in diplomatic service for over 15 years.

    5. Yoo Myung-hee (Korea) is the first female trade minister for the republic of Korea. she is currently the negotiator of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Korea-China FTA and the critical Korea-US (KORUS) FTA renegotiation, among other trade initiatives.

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organisation dealing with the global rules of trade. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

    WTO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland.
    WTO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland.
    China Daily