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Kenya’s former Health CS Cleopa Mailu to chair WTO Regional Trade Agreements Committee

By Betty Njeru | Mar 24th 2021 | 2 min read
By Betty Njeru | March 24th 2021

Permanent Representative to Geneva Dr Cleopa Mailu. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations office in Geneva Dr Cleopa Mailu has been appointed to head the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Regional Trade Agreements.

Mailu was elected by acclamation early this week to chair the RTA committee.

On the day of election, he told the WTO Secretariat: “I look forward to collaborating with all WTO members and the Secretariat towards successful and enriching discussions in the Committee.”

The former Kenya Health Cabinet Secretary now replaces outgoing chair, Ambassador M?rtinš Kreitus of Latvia.

As chairperson of the RTA Committee, Mailu is tasked with overseeing decisions and fostering discussions on trade agreements between WTO member countries.

WTO: “The Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) considers individual regional agreements under the Transparency Mechanism for RTAs. It is also mandated to hold discussions on the systemic implications of RTAs for the multilateral trading system, as was reaffirmed by WTO members at the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015.”

The former CS began his vast career as an intern at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).  He then worked for the Ministry of Health and led an anti-polio campaign from 1995-2000.

He has also previously worked for Unicef and the World Health Organization in Malawi and Zambia.

He became the first African CEO of The Nairobi Hospital in 2003.

What are Regional Trade Agreements?

According to corporatefinanceinstitute.com, RTAs refer to a deal signed by two or more countries to encourage free movement of goods and services across the borders of its members.

“The agreement comes with internal rules that member countries must follow,” the publication states.

Some of the benefits of RTAs include boosting economic growth between member countries, volume of trade and countries also enjoy quality and variety of goods.

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