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General News of Thursday, 28 March 2013

Source: Samuel Hinneh

South Africa backs Kyerematen for WTO position

By Samuel Hinneh, Durban, South Africa (Courtesy SAIIA)

One of the emerging global economic powers, South Africa, is backing the African Union nominee, Alan Kyerematen, for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

South Africa, a member of the African Union, as well as BRICS, was presented with two options; either supports the Ghanaian African Union nominee, or a candidate from BRICS member country, Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, from Brazil.

Mr Alan Kyerematen, a former Trade Minister of Ghana, was nominated by the African Union (AU) at a meeting in Addis Ababa in July 2012 to contest for the WTO position.

Victor Mashabela, the Chief Director, Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, says it was an early decision to support the candidature of an African and for that matter one that is endorsed by the AU-a regional body.
“Other countries including South Africa want to be associated with a position of a group of a regional body like the AU so it became easy for South Africa to support the candidature of Mr Alan Kyerematen’’, he said in an interview at the BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa.
BRICS is the acronym for the grouping of emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The 5th BRICS Summit is on the theme BRICS and AFRICA: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation take place from 26 - 27 March 2013.
As the search for the new Director General will done in phases of elimination, Mr Mashabela said it is the hope of South Africa that Alan Kyerematen would go through the processes to annex the position for the African continent.
“In order to carry the day in this position one needs a candidate that enjoys consensus support across the world, and South Africa believes Alan Kyerematen has the ability to achieve that’’.

Dr Mzukisi Qobo, a leadership consultant and Political Risk Analyst, (University of Pretoria, South Africa) says the official position of South Africa will be to reaffirm the AU official position of supporting the AU nominee Alan Kyerematen because even if there two or three candidates from Africa, there is going to be one that the AU will support at the regional level.

“But at the country level there will be obviously divergences so South Africa may privately support the Brazilian candidate but officially the position will be to support the AU candidate’’, he added.

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