September 9, 2020, 10.15 PM

GENEVA, KOMPAS.com – A WTO leadership candidate highlighted the importance of diversity as the international organization seeks to strengthen its presence.

The candidate, Amina Mohamed of Kenya, shared that placing an African or a woman at the helm of the WTO could send a "very powerful message".

She is one of eight candidates vying to become the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

Read also: Head of WTO Leaves Post to Join PepsiCo as a Top Executive

While the organization is battling the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic though Amina Mohamed stated that the WTO would benefit from better reflecting all those around the world who contribute to global trade.

"I believe that diversity is always a strength and diversity will strengthen the multilateral trading system," she told AFP in an interview Monday.

Mohamed, Kenya's sport and culture minister and formerly its foreign minister, is one of three Africans vying to become the first WTO director-general from the continent, alongside Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt.

There is no requirement for a regional rotation of the WTO chief position.

But there have been calls for an African to finally get a shot at running the organization, which since its creation in 1995 has counted three director-generals from Europe, and one each from Oceania, Asia, and South America.

Having more diversity at the top would convey "a very powerful message" that contributions to global trade come from "all parts of the world", she said, stressing that "any part of this world can produce a competent (person) to do this job".

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