Published On: Fri, Jul 7th, 2017

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi spells 4-year vision, pledges fair trade between nations

The implementation of the Maafikiano Agreement will be Dr Mukhisa Kituyi’s priority as he starts the next four-year term at the helm of UNCTAD.

His term was secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development was extended on Thursday. He will serve until August 31, 2021.

The said agreement, reached in Nairobi last July, is crucial in ensuring fair trade between developing countries and developed nations.

Kituyi told the Star he will also continue to assist the UN secretary general in integrating UN operations across the world.

“Thirdly, I want to set up a panel of eminent persons to help develop ideas for UNCTAD beyond 2021.”

“This will be the agenda of what I handover to the next secretary general when my term ends,” he said in a phone interview.

He described his first four years as largely successful.

Kituyi joined UNCTAD in 2013, succeeding Thailand’s Supachai Panitchpakdi who had served since 2005.

At that time, the UN body was largely in decline and made little impact in global trade debates, a situation Dr Kituyi pledged to reform.

“I have substantially improved relations with other UN agencies and member states.”

He said this is reflected in increased significant extra-budgetary support from key member states.

The UNCTAD SG said global resources have increased adding that the organisation has earned greater visibility in its policy discussions.

In his first term, Kituyi also established an African office in Addis Ababa.

“I have also been leading retreats with Presidents and their Cabinets to help walk them through national planning instruments relevant to agenda 2030,” he said.

Before his appointment, Kituyi served as the MP for Kimilili for 15 years and also as Minister of Trade and Industry during President Mwai Kibaki’s 2002-2007 term.

He was also the Kenya Institute of Governance CEO and Fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, on their African Growth Initiative.

Kituyi was also a member of a team of experts advising the East African Community Presidents on the challenges, opportunities and possible road map to deeper regional integration.

The former legislator was also a consultant to the Africa Union Commission, where he helped develop the architecture and road map for a Pan-African Free Trade Area.

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