It is going to be a wonderful change and true end to racial discrimination if the World Trade Organisation is able to zero down on an African director general for the coming term.
There is now a growing feeling within the diplomatic fraternity that indeed, there someone from the African continent must be at the helm, for good. Taking on the reigns of world’s top economic institution, would bring about a change in thought leadership too.
It is worth noting that never in the history of top appointments has an African ever held a position of such prominence. In the past, it is only American or European representation that has dressed up the World Bank or even the International Monetary Fund.
Current line of candidates includes three African diplomants out of the total of eight. This includes Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (Nigeria), Ms, Anima Mohamed (Keny) and Mr. Abdel- Hamid Mamdouh(Egypt). The World Trade Organisation is a critical body to the way trade decisions are made and the best interest of its member countries are put forward. It also looks after settling trade disputes between nations.
The Director General has a key role to play where it attends the G7 and G20 meetings and has in his or her power to broker disputes between world leaders too. One is therefore looking at not just a good administrator but also at someone who has sound leadership to take everyone along, keeping a balance perspective towards well being and growth of the African continent as well.
For Africa, trade is a driver of growth and a sure shot way towards sustainable growth. Someone at the helm would be good to oversee this does not go into the background, as it has happened on many occasions, as issues in Europe and America tends to occupy centre stage.
According to David Luke, head of the trade policy centre at the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa, “foreign aid will not do it Africa. Like everywhere else throughout history, it is now time for only trade.”
There is sense of respect and autonomy that the African continent is looking at; a fact that someone who is heading the body for trade will speak for and take it ahead that much more seriously. Ms. Mohamed has had the experience like Ms. Iweala to serve in their country’s respective ministries.