SA officers mentioned Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had performed a political battle over what ought to have been a purely technocratic resolution.
South Africa has received a ding-dong battle with its continental rival Nigeria on the African Union summit in Addis Ababa for the publish of secretary-general of the African Continental Free Commerce Space (ACFTA) which is because of begin working on July 1.
South Africa’s Wamkele Mene, a high commerce negotiator lastly prevailed over Nigeria’s Cecilia Akintomide, a former vice-president and basic secretary of the African Improvement Financial institution, after seven rounds of voting by African heads of state and authorities on Monday night.
South African officers had been celebrating the victory over South Africa’s fundamental African competitor, particularly as a result of they insisted that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had performed a political battle over what ought to have been a purely technocratic resolution.
A technical panel of commerce ministers had determined earlier than the summit began that Mene was the best-qualified candidate to move the secretariat of the ACFTA which is predicted to provide a serious elevate to intra-African commerce and even “reignite” industrialisation on the continent, as President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned when he accepted the chair of the AU for 2020 on Sunday.
When Nigeria refused to withdraw Akintomide – and the DRC additionally refused to withdraw its candidate Faustin Luanga, former financial adviser to ex-president Joseph Kabila – regardless of the technical panel’s report, the African leaders debated lengthy and arduous on Sunday night to attempt to attain consensus. They failed and deferred the choice to Monday when it was put to a vote – which is uncommon within the AU which just about invariably reaches a choice by consensus.
Mene needed to get 33 votes out of 55 to get the job. Within the first spherical of voting on Monday night, Mene obtained 25, Akintomide 15 and Luanga six. Within the second spherical, the voting was 27/134. Within the third spherical, it was 27/15/3 and Luanga withdrew. Within the fourth spherical with solely Mene and Akintomide within the ring the voting was 28/17; then 28/16; then 28/15.
At which level Nigeria’s Akintomide withdrew. In a closing spherical of voting with solely Mene within the race – which was mandatory for him to achieve the 33 minimal – he received 35 votes, with 9 abstentions to safe the job.
“Gained!” mentioned one of many delegates.
Mene will most likely take up his job in March, in Accra, Ghana the place the ACFTA secretariat is to be based mostly.
The technical panel, which included South Africa’s Commerce and Business Minister Ebrahim Patel, had whittled down an unique checklist of 121 candidates, to the brief checklist of three which was concerned within the voting in Addis Ababa on Monday. DM