“The view in Geneva is that it is time a woman ran the WTO and the one to watch is Amina Mohamed, currently Kenya’s Sports minister but formerly the country’s much-respected ambassador to the WTO. “If the rest of the continent gets behind her she has a chance of becoming the first Africa to run the WTO. She would be a good choice.” But who is Amina Mohamed?
1. Born on 5th October 1961 Amina Mohamed is a Kenyan lawyer, diplomat, and politician. She is presently serving as the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage, and Culture in Kenya.
2. Ambassador Mohamed, an eighth born in a family of nine siblings, spent her early life in Western Kenya. She attended Township Primary School in Kakamega and later Butere Girls and Highlands Academy.
3. Amina Mohamed met and married her husband Khalid Ahmed in 2002. Khalid Ahmed is an Ivy League trained industrialist. Together they have six children, two biological children, and four orphans.
4. Amina Mohamed started her career in 1985 as a legal officer in the former Ministry of Local Governments assigned to assessing World Bank projects and tabling municipal by-laws. She moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1986 and 2002 working as a legal advisor.
5. Her diplomatic career started soaring high when she was appointed as Kenya’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the diplomatic mission at Geneva. In July 2011, she joined the UN as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi.
6. Amina Mohamed is known as an excellent strategist with proven negotiation and managerial skills, have demonstrated solid leadership in every domestic and international post she has held. In 2017, she was the only African to be personally invested at the Imperial Palace with the highest honor of Japan for services to her country, continent, and creating a new model of partnership between Japan and Africa.
7. The former Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was the first Kenyan woman to hold such a high-rank position in the government of Kenya.
8. Amina Mohamed was also the Chairman, Coordinator, and Spokesperson for the African Group in the WTO’s Human Rights Commission. Amb. Mohamed was the first female chairperson of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
9. Minister Amina Mohamed chaired the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference that was held here in Nairobi and was highly successful. She is the current President of the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
10. Due to her commendable work, CS Amina Mohamed has received three state honors – two from Kenya and one from Italy. These are Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH) Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS), Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (Cav.O.S.S.