General News of Saturday, 4 January 2014
A former flagbearer aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng says disunity among African Heads of State contributed to him not securing the position as Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) last year.
“Africa has the largest block in the WTO, 42 members and 7 observers. So if we decide to put our weight behind one candidate, obviously it will be a foregone conclusion,” he explained.
Mr. Kyeremanteng, despite an endorsement from the African Union (AU) as well as being selected by the United State (US) Washington Post as the top candidate for the position, lost out to Brazilian diplomat, Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, as the sixth Director-General of the WTO.
Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo succeeded Pascal Lamy, and his appointment took effect on 1 September 2013 for a four-year term.
He mentioned that “if Africa had kept together as a block, I believe that we would have had that first African Director General of the WTO. But for various reasons, our front was divided even though I was the AU endorsed candidate.”
In his opinion however, being one of the lead candidates in its self is a tribute for Ghana.
He called on African leaders to put the past behind them and aim at moving forward for the better saying “it is time for us on the continent to understand that; trade is the catalyst for accelerated growth.”