EAC endorses Amina Mohamed for Director General of WTO post

The East African Community has endorsed Kenya's candidate Ambassador Amina Mohamed (pictured) in the race for World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General post through exchange of letters.

"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 Organisation," read part of a letter by the Minister and Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Vincent Biruta.

The Geneva-based body is seeking a replacement for Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo who is stepping down a year early. His successor will need to steer reforms and negotiations in the face of rising protectionism, a deep recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and growing trade tensions, notably between the United States and China.

Amina Mohamed, a former Kenyan ambassador to the WTO and the first woman to chair the WTO’s General Council in 2005, was the sixth candidate to be officially nominated, alongside others from Egypt, Nigeria, South Korea, Mexico and Moldova.

The director-general of the WTO is appointed through consensus.

There is consensus in Geneva that it's time for an African trade chief as the continent has never held the post.

The WTO, formed in 1995 is a rule-making body that guides international trade and tries to resolves disputes.