Mr Mukhisa Kituyi has been nominated to serve as the secretary general of the UN's principal trade organ. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Kenyan national Mukhisa Kituyi has been nominated by UN boss Ban Ki-moon to head the United Nations' principal trade organ.
The nomination of Mr Kituyi as the secretary-general of the 194-member United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is subject to confirmation by the UN General Assembly.
If confirmed, the former Commerce and Industry minister and Kenyan parliamentarian will replace Thai national Supachai Panitchpakdi, whose four-year term ends on August 31, a UN statement said.
Mr Supachai took office on September 1, 2005 and was reappointed to the Geneva-headquartered agency in 2009.
Mr Kituyi, who is well respected within global trade circles, shot to international fame after leading a walkout by developing nations from a WTO meeting in Cancun, Mexico in 2003 over what was seen as the recalcitrance of the EU and US to back down over key issues, including agricultural subsidies.
Mr Kituyi's nomination is a lift for Africa after the continent lost out on its recent bid to head the World Trade Organisation.
Africa's nominees for the WTO top job, Ghana’s Trade minister Alan Kyerematen and Kenya's Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed, were eliminated in the preliminary rounds for the position taken by Brazilian Roberto Azevedo.