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‘Next WTO head should be African’: Kenyatta says as he roots for Kenya’s Amina Mohamed

South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)

FILE PHOTO: Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed during a past event. /Photo courtesy: Amina Mohamed – Twitter

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Thursday the next World Trade Organization (WTO) head should be African.

Kenyatta made the remarks in a statement following his country’s submission of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the post of WTO Director-General.

“As a firm believer in the strengthening of international multilateral institutions, Kenya is convinced of the urgent need to revitalize the WTO to better serve the needs of all nations, large and small. We also believe that it is time that Africa took up her responsibility of serving at the helm of WTO,” he said.

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If selected, Mohamed would not only be the first African to hold the position, but also the first woman to serve at the helm of the body.

The Kenyan will contest against five other candidates to replace Brazilian Robert Azevêdo, who will be stepping down later this year.

Mohamed was also a candidate in the 2013 contest for the top WTO post, but lost to eventual winner Azevêdo.

After confirming receipt of Kenya’s bid, the WTO said the six candidates will now meet with the General Council to make pitches and respond to questions.

The WTO director-general is appointed through consensus, and a decision is expected on 31 August.

In his statement on Thursday, President Kenyatta highlighted Amina’s leadership abilities, expressing confidence that she would be a perfect fit for the WTO.

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“I have no doubt in my mind that her leadership at the WTO will without doubt be a game changer, that will enable tis important institution to meet the requirements of its member states and to better address the evolving demands of the 21st Century, and this, led by a proven consensus-builder,” he said.

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