South African Wamkele Mene has been elected the first Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Naija Mode understands that Mene’s emergence followed a close contest with Nigerian Cecilia Akintomide for the top job.
It also capped days of intense lobbying by the two countries to win support from other member states of the African Union.
The vote that confirmed Mr. Mene came on Monday at the end of the 33rd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.
Naija Mode learnt that Mene will now be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the newly created continental trade body, which will oversee the implementation of a tariff-free trade regime.
AfCFTA will be headquartered in the Ghanaian capital of Accra and is expected to be fully operational by end of March.
Meanwhile, here is the tweet of the trade union celebrating the new appointment.
Behold our long awaited Secretary-General @MeneWamkele. With a strong background in Trade, we look forward to your leadership as the Head of #AfCFTA Secretariat. pic.twitter.com/vN8MHlB0eh
— AfCFTA (@AfCfta) February 10, 2020