Business News of Wednesday, 12 September 2012
The African Union has nominated Ghana’s former Trade Minister, Alan Kyremanteng as the continent’s candidate for the head of World Trade Organization position.
According to the Reuters News Agency, Mr. Kyeremangteng’s was selected at a meeting in Addis Ababa in July.
Elections for the position are expected later this year, to replace current head of the organization, Pascal Lamy.
With Trade diplomats pushing for Lamy's replacement to be African, Latin American or Caribbean, analyst say Mr. Kyeremanteng has a strong chance of being elected as WTO boss. He is currently the Head of the Africa Trade Policy Forum (ATPF) .
Several sources said the AU's approval of Kyeremateng was part of a deal to allow Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a South African Minister and ex-wife of President Jacob Zuma, to win election to the chair of the AU.
Lamy's tenure at the WTO has been marked by Russia's accession last month, and disputes, notably a trans-Atlantic row over aircraft subsidies between Boeing and Airbus.
But most of all, it has been overshadowed by the failure to agree on any reform of the world trade rules. Whoever succeeds him will find unfinished negotiations over trade liberalisation and competing claims from different regional and economic blocs about what the next steps should be.