Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed is poised to clinch the World Trade Organization’s Secretary-General position if she beats the other seven candidates.
The Kenyan Nominee is already emerging as an early front-runner for the hotly contested seat.
Her attributes include her former role as a WTO ambassador, being an ex-trade minister and previously chairing WTO ministerial conference in the past.
Amina is fluent in WTO’s procedures and legal texts and even helped negotiate WTO’s most recent package of multilateral agreements. On top of all that, she happens to hail from Kenya, which is the third-largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, a continent that is pursuing more free trade with the world.
Last week the delegates each presented their case on why they are best suited for the job. Each one of them explained their vision for fixing the WTO’s declining negotiating function, its paralyzed dispute settlement system and the other problems that have hit the world’s most arbiter of trade.
Although the Secretary-General Position has never been held by a woman, Amina Mohamed checks most of the boxes for the requirements delegates are looking for.
The first phase of WTO’s selection is more about deciding who does not have what it takes for elimination purposes. Although the candidates will all continue with their campaigns until September 7th, Saudi Arabia and Moldova are already looking like candidates for elimination. Despite their impressive resumes, it just does not look like their time to lead the WTO.
It is still not clear how many candidates will be axed in the first round, but the WTO operating on a consensus basis, the final candidate should have the support of all 164 members. This is the hardest part as some Nations can simply withhold their support for any reasons including fights that could date as far back as World War 2.
Meanwhile, the candidates can continue holding Champagne receptions and wining and dining the delegates at fancy Restaurants like they did last week. However, the Secretary-General Position is more about Power and politics and for some, it’s just not meant to be.