Amina Mohamed: "I have the right profile to lead the WTO"

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Reforming the WTO, relaunching the dispute settlement system… The Kenyan minister details the projects that await her if she is elected at the head of the organization.

The two finalists for the election for the post of Secretary-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be known on October 6, but for English bookmakers, there is already no doubt that the duel will be 100% African, between Kenyan Amina Mohamed and Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The second may have appealed to the best English firms to conduct its campaign, it seems for the moment left behind in the race by the current Minister for Culture and Sports of Kenya, who at 58 also has a long CV as the arm.

Diplomat by training, passed through the benches of Oxford, Amina Mohamed successively held the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Justice in her country, before representing Kenya on the UN Security Council and then occupying the post of Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Above all, she is very familiar with the functioning of the WTO having headed its main organs, including the General Council, in 2005. Defeated in 2013 by Roberto Azevedo, Amina Mohamed tries her luck for the second time, convinced of making a difference by November 7, when the name of the future boss of the WTO will finally be revealed.

Jeune Afrique: Two representatives of the continent are in the running among the last five candidates for the post of Secretary General of the WTO. They are even considered favorites. Can we consider that the victory of Africa, announced by many observers, is achieved?

Amina Mohamed: I wouldn't start by speculating on the finalists, as the five candidates are all very qualified, but indeed Africa has a lot to offer at the WTO. All member countries know that the organization is at a crossroads and that it needs someone who is competent and experienced, able to take up the problems it faces and resolve them through negotiation.

If, in this context, an African candidate is elected, it will mean that the world will have appreciated the importance of the contribution that our continent can make in its smooth running.

Why does the next secretary general of the organization have to be African?

I see a certain convergence of positive factors for Africa, which has the largest contingent of member countries of the organization. It is certainly the most dynamic continent today, with immense potential in terms of natural resources and population.

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