Benin Republic Withdraws Candidate, Backs Okonjo-Iweala For WTO DG

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Republic of Benin has withdrawn its candidate, Eloi Laourou from the race to become Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) pledging support for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate.


According to the report, the West African country told the permanent missions of the member states of the International Organization of La Francophonie (01F) at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva that it has decided to withdraw, Eloi Laourou, its candidate.


It said the decision was reached after consultations with three African countries registered by the summit of heads of state and government of the African Union on February 10 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the endorsement of a single candidate from Africa.

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Benin said it has decided to support Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate in line with the African Union’s agreement.

THISDAY quotes sources as saying Patrice Guillaume Athanase Talon, the Beninese president, deserves credit for his country’s decision to support Nigeria.

Talon was said to have been inspired by the need to recommend a consensus candidate that will be endorsed by the African Union, as recommended by the heads of state and government of the African Union in their decisions adopted respectively on July 7, 2019 in Niamey, Niger Republic and February 10, 2020 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

After Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination, Egypt kicked against the nomination saying its candidate, Abdulhamid Mamdouh, should be the only recognised candidate out of Africa.

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