5 Multi-Millionaires From Somalia You Should Know

Somalia, a failed state in East Africa, has an extremely hostile political and business environment. But its people, the Somalis, are...
Monday, October 19, 2020

Kenya’s Amina Mohamed vows to help reform WTO if given top seat

- Advertisement -

Kenya’s candidate for top post at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said she will push for reforms in the global trade refereeing body, even as she pledged to remain guided by the member states.

Appearing before the WTO’s highest decision body known as the General Council on Thursday, Ms Mohamed told the group of envoys that she will encourage member states pursue what she called “reform, recovery and renewal” of the global body charged with providing rules of trade.

“Reform is all the more urgent because an effective WTO is needed to help create the conditions for a sustainable recovery from the economic falling-out of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she told the audience in an introductory statement to the General Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

- Advertisement -

“This vital system is being tested as never before. The WTO was already in difficulties before Covid-19 struck. Its negotiating function had faltered, with only limited successes in the last twenty-five years,” she added.

BINDING RULES OF TRADE

The WTO, with 164 member states, is not a UN organisation. But it created binding rules of trade.

In its more than two decades of existence though, it has failed to create uniformity on the needed changes. Some poor countries have haggled over the removal of certain subsidies while some richer countries have called for their continuation.

- Advertisement -

Ms Mohamed said she will promote “convergence” and encourage member states to use the rules of the organisation they created.

“The members themselves have been talking about reforming the organisation.  What they don’t agree is what reforms to be undertaken,” she later told a virtual press conference on Thursday evening.

“The membership needs to agree on what reforms need to take place, what priorities to attach to those reforms,” she added, saying she will help provide a platform for those discussions.

Ms Mohamed, who is kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary, was meeting with the General Council on the second day of the three-day session where all the eight candidates will address the WTO and identify themselves.

CANDIDATES FROM AFRICA

She is among three candidates from Africa. The others are Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Abdel-Hamid Mamdou of Egypt. 

Other contenders are former UK Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, Mr Jesús Seade Kuri of Mexico, Moldova’s Tudor Ulianovschi, Saudi Arabia’s former Economy Minister Mohammad Mazia al-Tualjri and Ms Yoo Myung-hee, the current Trade Minister of South Korea.

All candidates have been promising to reform the WTO.

Nigeria’s Dr Okonjo-Iweala termed the WTO system as “paralysed” while the Egyptian candidate argued for a system that reflects the 21st century trade.

Ms Mohamed said that that she believes the world should select a woman, or an African, not because it has never done so before, but because the candidate in question is competent.

“We are looking for a director-general who is competen…and who can support the members’ ambitions.

“I don’t think we should have a woman because we feel a woman should hold this post at this time. I think a woman that is chosen should be a woman who is capable.”

RETURNING TO CONTEST

Ms Mohamed is returning to contest at the WTO, an organisation she worked for before and served as Kenya’s Ambassador to its headquarters in Geneva.

Africa, which has never led the organisation, was tipped to be the best placed continent. But fronting three candidates has been seen as its weakness.

“Africa has never led the WTO since it started in 1994 so this is a very good chance for the continent to pitch for a chance to lead the organisation,” said trade policy expert Peter Mwencha, who also serves as secretary-general and CEO of the International Relations Society of Kenya.

“On the face of it, Amina has the right credentials to become the DG of the WTO given her past experience within the WTO and other UN agencies,” Dr Mwencha added.

But Dr Mwencha said Kenya’s unilateral decision to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with the US could present it as breaking from the African ranks.

NOT AGAINST AFRICA

But Ms Mohamed said the deal that Nairobi is negotiating with Washington is not against Africa and that it could be used as an example in future trade talks.

“It is one of very many FTAs…. It is a step that was needed to be taken by my country,” she said.

“It is a negotiation that is just beginning…it is going to be a model for the region. It should be something that should be celebrated.”

As to whether various African candidates gave an impression of disunity, Ms Mohamed argued it in fact showed Africa takes WTO seriously.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

148,686FansLike
1,872FollowersFollow
786FollowersFollow
18FollowersFollow
5,638FollowersFollow
2,902SubscribersSubscribe

SOMALI NEWS

October 14 tragedy: Why Somalia needs a national biometric system

By Thabit MohamedFormer Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir Region
- Advertisement -

Trump Demands Plan to Pull Hundreds of U.S. Troops From Somalia

President Donald Trump has told top advisers he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia, according to people familiar with the matter,...

Feared Shabab Exploit Somali Banking and Invest in Real Estate, U.N. Says

The Shabab, the Somalia-based militant group that is Al Qaeda’s most powerful ally in Africa, is not only collecting millions of dollars...

Alshabab Extremists release two Cuban doctors kidnapped in Somalia

The al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab has released two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya and held for a year and a...

Somali National Army, Kenyan troops exchange gunfire at shared border

Somali and Kenyan troops engaged in a minutes-long firefight on Saturday at the two countries' shared border, local officials and witnesses said...

MORE NEWS

October 14 tragedy: Why Somalia needs a national biometric system

By Thabit MohamedFormer Mayor of Mogadishu and Governor of Benadir Region

Trump Demands Plan to Pull Hundreds of U.S. Troops From Somalia

President Donald Trump has told top advisers he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia, according to people familiar with the matter,...

Feared Shabab Exploit Somali Banking and Invest in Real Estate, U.N. Says

The Shabab, the Somalia-based militant group that is Al Qaeda’s most powerful ally in Africa, is not only collecting millions of dollars...

Former Islington mayor Rakhia Ismail quits Labour party over racism

The UK’s first hijab-wearing mayor has resigned from the Labour party citing racism and a “system that allows white men to have what they...

Alshabab Extremists release two Cuban doctors kidnapped in Somalia

The al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab has released two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya and held for a year and a...

Somali National Army, Kenyan troops exchange gunfire at shared border

Somali and Kenyan troops engaged in a minutes-long firefight on Saturday at the two countries' shared border, local officials and witnesses said...

IMF Reaches a Staff-Level Agreement for the First Review of the Extended Credit Facility for Somalia

September 24, 2020End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country.

Trump won’t commit to peaceful transfer of power

US President Donald Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses November's election.

Somalia’s Lawmakers Approve Roble ‘Swedish-Somali’ as New Prime Minister

The Somali parliament on Wednesday approved the appointment of Mohamed Hussein Roble as prime minister, less than a week after his nomination....

lhan Omar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: ‘This is my country’

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday night fired back at President Trump, who went after her at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

FEATURED POSTS

Feared Shabab Exploit Somali Banking and Invest in Real Estate, U.N. Says

The Shabab, the Somalia-based militant group that is Al Qaeda’s most powerful ally in Africa, is not only collecting millions of dollars...

As Somalia chooses delegate voting system, outsider sees his chances rise

For most of the Somalia presidential aspirants the Nation has interviewed so far, the aspect of replacing an incumbent who has ‘failed’ in his...

The rape and murder that shook Mogadishu

There are many violent incidents in Mogadishu that often go unnoticed. But when Hamdi Mohamed Farah was tossed over a six-storey building...

Somalia election: Old rivals unite to fight Farmaajo

In Somalia’s political scene, the revolving door is brutal and not even presidents can be safe.