What you need to know:
- Women leaders support Sports Cabinet Secretary Ms Amina Mohammed’s quest for the World Trade Organisation Director General position.
- Say it is the way to go for Kenya to realise SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by 2030.
- NGEC commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi said they back Ms Amina’s candidature.
- Ms Mohamed is the sixth candidate to be officially nominated, alongside others from Egypt, Nigeria, South Korea, Mexico and Moldova. Three of them are women.
- Kenya offers Amina Mohamed, a uniquely qualified person, to lead the WTO at this critical time, said President Uhuru.
- Kepsa said the CS has delivered on her mandate as a minister and diplomat, and has a wealth of experience with the WTO.
- If selected, she will be the first African and the first woman to serve at the helm of the World Trade Organisation.
Women leaders have supported Sports Cabinet Secretary Ms Amina Mohammed’s quest for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General position.
Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) chairperson Gathoni Wamuchomba said Ms Amina has a wealth of institutional expertise having previously worked for the organisation.
“We wish to declare our unequivocal endorsement of CS Amina Mohammed and we wish her the best during the campaign period. We also call upon our sisters from all over the world to join us in supporting her,” said Wamuchomba.
The Kiambu Woman Representative also thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for nominating Ms Mohammed for the position.
“This is the way to go for Kenya to realise Sustainable Development Goal 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by 2030,” she said.
National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi said they back Ms Amina’s candidature.
“Go Amina Go! To the leadership of WTO,” said Ms Nyokabi.
The Geneva-based WTO is seeking a replacement for Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, who is stepping in August.
Ms Amina, a former Kenyan ambassador to the WTO and the first woman to chair the WTO’s General Council in 2005, is the sixth candidate to be officially nominated, alongside others from Egypt, Nigeria, South Korea, Mexico and Moldova. Three of them are women.
The six candidates are South Korean trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee; Kenya’s former foreign minister Amina Mohamed, Mexico’s former WTO deputy director-general Jesus Seade Kuri; former Nigerian foreign and finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Egyptian former diplomat Hamid Mamdouh, and former Moldovan foreign minister Tudor Ulianovschi.
Ms Amina lost to Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo in 2013.
In 2017, she lost to Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat in the race for chairperson of the African Union Commission. The government has already expressed confidence in her bid for the job.
WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE
“Kenya offers Amina Mohamed, a uniquely qualified person, to lead the WTO at this critical time. If selected, she will be the first African and indeed, the first woman to serve at the helm of the World Trade Organisation,” said President Kenyatta in a statement recently.
The President added that the CS understands the WTO and its processes having chaired all its high-level decision-making bodies among them the Ministerial Conference, General Council, Dispute Settlement Body as well as the Trade Policy Review Body.”
Kepsa CEO Carole Karuga said the CS has delivered on her mandate as a minister and diplomat, and has a wealth of experience with the WTO and the multilateral trading system, making her fit for the position.
“The business community is confident the CS has all it takes to lead the WTO into the future and we are hopeful she will be deemed fit to lead the necessary reforms that will bring about a sustainable economic recovery and ensure member States benefit from better trade policies,” said Ms Karuga in a press statement.
The CEO added Kepsa believes Amina’s experience as a diplomat will help her navigate the current delicate international trade ecosystem, ensuring a prosperous future for WTO member States.
“She has … a great track record with WTO. As the first woman to have chaired the three most important bodies of the organization; the Trade Policy Body, the Dispute Settlement Body and the Governing General Council of the organisation,” added the CEO.
The CEO singled out Amina’s professionalism evident in the various roles she has served, most notably as the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
“The CS worked with Kenya's apex private sector lobby group to find solutions to some of the pressing challenges facing the business community, as well as providing an enabling environment for local businesses and investors,” says the statement.
Kepsa seats at the WTO trade committee, mandated to keep under continuous review the participation of developing country members in the multilateral trading system.
Ms Amina will be banking on her history with the WTO where she previously served in different roles.
In 2005, she was chairperson of the General Council – the highest-level decision-making organ of the WTO, which is composed of envoys from member States. She also served as head of the Dispute Settlement Body and Trade Policy Review Body.
While speaking from Geneva, Switzerland to one of the international media outlets on Monday, Ms Amina said: “It’s not going to be easy, but I think it’s a challenge that can be met.”
Of the directors-general since the WTO was created in 1995, three of them have been from Europe, one each came from Oceania, Asia and South America.
There has never been a WTO leader from Africa.