On the course of having a consensus candidate from Africa, the African Union has now disqualified Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from vying for the office of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
It will be noted that in July 2019, the Executive Council of the AU invited member states to present nominations into the office of the DG of the WTO so that the AU would agree on a consensus candidature.
Nigeria initially nominated Fedrick Agah while Benin and Egypt fielded Messrs Eloi Laourou and Abdulhameed Mamdouh respectively.
However, on June 4, 2020, Nigeria withdrew the nomination of Fedrick Agah and replaced him with Okonjo-Iweala, in a document from the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union, Reference Number: BC/OLC/24/5056.20 dated June 15, 2020, the African Union says the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala violates Rule (11), 1, 2 and 3, Rule 12 and Rule 15(3) of the rules of procedure of the committee on candidatures within the International System of the AU as well as Council's Decisions Ex CI 1072 (XXXV), Ec CI Dec 1090 (XXXVI) and Assembly Dec 795 (XXXIII). The AU says its Executive Council had endorsed the nominations of Fedrick Agah, Eloi Laourou and Abdulhameed Mamdouh before Nigeria sought to substitute its nomination.
Though, it is instructive to note that the council's endorsement was for the nominees in person and not for their countries and Iweala can still contest for the position of the WTO director because the WTO board has already accepted the nomination of Dr Iweala.