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Egyptian candidate: AU endorsed me for WTO job — NOT Okonjo-Iweala or Amina Mohamed

Egyptian candidate: AU endorsed me for WTO job — NOT Okonjo-Iweala or Amina Mohamed
July 15
23:13 2020

Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh, the Egyptian candidate for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) top job, says he is the only African candidate who has been endorsed by the African Union (AU). 

Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, Mamdouh told journalists at the WTO and members of the organisation that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Kenya’s Amina Mohamed have not passed the processes at the AU.

“I think what is the position of the Egyptian government is that the Egyptian candidate — and now this is a matter of fact not a matter of interpretation — is the only candidate of the three Africans who has been endorsed by the executive council of the African Union,” he said.

“That is African process, what is happening here at the WTO does not depend on what happens in Addis Ababa.

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“But in terms of characterisation or description, I think the respective honorable candidates from Kenya and Nigeria have not passed through the processes and procedure of the African Union as the Egyptian candidate did.”

Egypt had initially called on the African Union to disqualify Okonjo-Iweala from running for the office of the DG — to help Africa present a single candidate from the north African country.

‘WTO DG SHOULDN’T BE SELECTED BASED ON GENDER’

Mamdouh, who said he is a believer in gender equality said the WTO DG should not be selected based on gender but based on necessary attributes.

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“Is this the time for a woman to lead? Anytime is the time for a woman to lead. One of my points raised is that I believe firmly in gender equality, and diversity,” he added.

“But there is a question also about looking at the necessary attributes as opposed to the desirable attributes and of course, I would bow and respect the selection of a woman.

“I would caution, however, if that becomes the primary criterion as opposed to a desirable criterion, then my point here would be to just act in the best interest of the organisation.”

The African Union did not publicly endorse any single candidate for the WTO top job.

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