Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Amina Mohamed of Kenya made it to the roster of Five Contenders that Evolve to the Second Phase of Nominating the Successive Director General of the World Trade Organization
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– It left with a dance of two African competitors – Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Kenya’s Amina C. Mohamed that tossed it to the record of five hopefuls that will progress to the succeeding level of assigning the successive Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Egypt’s Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh, didn’t make it to the following stride.
David Walker – the General Council Chair of New Zealand and his two co-facilitators in the nomination procedure divulged a list of five members who will move forward in the successive level, bringing the list down from eight aspirants. Aloof from the two Africans, others who maintained the largest and deepest reinforcement from the WTO membership comprise Yoo Myung-hee of Korea, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia, and Liam Fox of the United Kingdom.
“Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process,” Ambassador Walker maintained in a report on Friday September18th, 2020. During the classified interviews Amb. Walker, Amb. Castillo, Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Amb. Aspelund, Chair of the Trade Policy Review Body, asked to each delegation a single question: “What are your preferences?” Members then provided four priorities to the “troika” of ambassadors.
However, the procedure to appoint a candidate that will supersede Brazil’s Roberto Azevêdo is now permeating yet another fascinating but rigorous phase with the session continuing with vital competitors. In codicil, there is an impetus for Africa to lead the organization as several experts deduce, it would give the continent, which has profited less from the international trade system a chance to make their voice heard. The continent has never retained the top World Trade Organization prime position, even though there are no regulations which authorize that, the director position should be rotational or be taken up on a continent-wide basis.
Okonjo-Iweala is a two-time one-time Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nigeria, erstwhile Managing Director of World Bank Group, and currently sits on the Board of Twitter.
Amina C. Mohamed on the other hand, is similarly a hefty challenger with a high profession in diplomacy and having represented Kenya at the WTO, as well as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Kenya diplomatic Mission in Geneva. She also chaired the African Group in the WTO’s Human Rights Commission and she was the first woman to chair WTO’s General Council in 2005. Clearly, the next level of interviews will begin on September 24th, 2020 and shall move until October 6th, 2020 according to WTO. And during this time, members will be interrogated in private consultations to assert two preferences to the facilitators with an eye to bringing the number of candidates from five to two. Pursuing this process, Amb. Walker will call other Heads of Delegations meeting at which the results will be announced to the WTO membership. And the schedule for the third and final round of consultations will be announced at that time. The final objective of the process is to ensure an agreement conclusion by members on the next Director-General.
The General Council agreed on July 31st, 2020 that, there would be three stages of consultations held over a two-month period commencing September 7th, 2020. During the two months, the number of competitors would be curtailed from eight to five and then two before an agreement is entered on which of the hopefuls suits the WTO’s 7th Director-General.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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