Business News of Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Source: Economic Tribune

Who heads WTO? Alan Kyerematen or Amina Mohamed?

The successor to Pascal Lamy as the director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is something all Ghanaians and Africans should follow.

The Director General of the WTO has never been an African and appointing one now, after the recent spurt of global economic troubles, might just help many African countries including Ghana. The nomination period closed on December 31 2012 with two of the nine nominated successors coming from Africa. They include Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen from Ghana and Ms Amina Mohamed from Kenya.

The next step in the selection process is for the candidates to present themselves to the membership at a formal general council meeting that will be held from January 29-31, 2013. After this, the selection process will conclude with a consensus decision by the general council no later than May 31 2013.

So who should we be backing? Mr Kyerematen from Ghana or Ms Mohamed from Kenya? Well, Kyerematen has an extensive and distinguished record in international trade, international public policy, enterprise development, politics and diplomacy in the both the public and private sectors.

In the public domain, Kyerematen has been a cabinet minister, ambassador and negotiator, and an international public servant and in the private sector he has been a senior corporate executive.

Amina Mohamed, on the other hand, has had a distinguished career in both public and foreign service, covering a broad spectrum of domestic and international assignments.

She has had a distinguished diplomatic career and rose through the ranks to become ambassador/permanent representative, permanent mission to the Republic of Kenya at Geneva.

As such, she represented Kenya in the WTO, which gives her a profound knowledge of the organization, along with strong managerial skills.

From their respective biographies, each candidate appears well suited to the position. However, the only thing that sets them apart is Kyerematen’s background. He is well vexed in international trade as well as international public policy.

Regardless of who wins the vote, the developing world has 88.9 per cent chance of a somewhat favourable outcome because with one exception, the list of nine is made up of nominees from countries self-designated as “developing”.