Prof. Patrick Lumumba backs Iweala for WTO job

Patrick Lumumba
Prof. Patrick Lumumba, Director of the Kenya School of Laws (Photo credit: Google)

Patrick Lumumba, Kenyan lawyer who was former director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, has urged African countries to back Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as candidate for the World Trade Organisation’s Managing Director.

Prof. Lumumba said this in an interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show. Lumumba declared that Africans have always have a way of competing against each other rather than complementing each other.

According to his statement, “Our lack of coordination, different things that we should do jointly, and with one voice, we don’t,” he said.

“Recently when we were competing for the non-permanent membership of the UN security council, Djibouti was competing with Kenya. Why?

“Right now, there is the WTO; Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate we should back, given her credentials. Now, a Kenyan candidate has emerged, an Egyptian candidate has emerged — we are going to be manipulated and none of the Africans is going to get it.

“We’ve got to learn to do things properly as a continent. And when we do that, we’ll be stronger and ultimately, our populations would benefit from it.”

According to reports, there are eight candidates for the WTO top job while three of them are from Africa.

The Kenya’s Law School director, Patrick Lumumba, also reiterated that African leaders agreed in 2000 in Lagos to spend 15 percent of budgets on health but failed at implementing that — and COVID-19 has exposed them.

“I think COVID has done something that nothing has ever done; perhaps, this is the terrible beauty of COVID-19. It is terrible in the sense that we have been shaken down,” he added.

“I think there is now a commitment; I have listened to some of the virtual meetings of the AU, and I begin to see the recognition by African leaders that we can no longer afford the luxury of depending on others.”

He emphasized that the lack of continental trade is greatly affecting Africa, condemning Kenya who has been importing maize from Mexico, instead of importing from Malawi or Tanzania.

However, the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which was to begin in July 2020 has been postponed to January 2021.

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