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Foreign Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed, Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala ave been selected as top candidates for director-general of World Trade Organisation.

African Women Political Leaders Set For WTO Leadership Role

Kenyan Sports, Culture and Heritage Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed and Nigeria's former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have been selected as top candidates for director-general of World Trade Organisation.

Kenyan Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed and Nigeria's former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have been selected as top candidates to become the next Director-General for the World Trade Organisation. According to Al Jazeera, the announcement was made in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday after eight possible candidates where cut down to five. The five include three women, two of whom are from Africa. This is big news for Africa as the WTO has neither had Black women or Africans head the international organisation.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took to Twitter upon hearing the news and thanked Nigeria for supporting her. Numerous congratulations poured in from fellow Nigerians.

Okonjo-Iweala is a former finance minister in Nigeria and former managing director of the World Bank. She served twice as Nigeria's finance minister, most recently between 2011 and 2015. The role encompassed the expanded portfolio of the coordinating minister for the economy. In 2006, she served as foreign affairs minister. She has also sat on several decision-making bodies such as the United Nations Secretary Genera and Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation

According to Africa Report, it seems Mohammed is the probable candidate to take make the seat of director-general. Mohammed served as Kenya's foreign affairs minister since 2013 to 2018. Between 2000 and 2006, she served as ambassador and permanent representative to the Kenya diplomatic mission in Geneva, and chaired the African Group in the WTO's Human Rights Commission. Mohammed is also the first woman to chair WTO's General Council in 2005. Member states of WTO seem to support Mohammed as well. The UK was supporting her to replace current Secretary-General Patricia Scotland before outgoing Director-General before Roberto AzevedoRoberto Azevedo tendered his resignation in May this year.

WTO is a global trade organisation between sovereign nations, it negotiates trade agreements between countries and settles disputes. The body has over 160 members representing 98 percent of the world's nations. The organisation meets several times a year in Geneva. African member states are usually at the short hand of the bargaining stick in WTO which is dominated by first world powers such as the USA and UK; an African leader at the helm might change that. Roberto Azevedo resigned because of Trump's administration which frustrated WTO operations. Trump, who disregards African states, refused to approve nominees to fill vacancies on a crucial appeals panel that rules on trade disputes.

*Previous version wrongly stated that Minister Amina Chawahir Mohamed is Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister. She currently serves as the Sports, Culture and Heritage Minister

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Africans Are Taking Surfing Back

We sat down with Ethiopia-American director David Mesfin to discuss the importance of knowing where you come from, and his upcoming surf doc 'Wade In The Water'

For so long, Black and African communities have been made to believe that the water was our enemy, often citing the traumatic history of African slaves drowning at sea during the Atlantic Slave Trade. But, what certain people with certain agendas failed to add was the fact that the slaves had such a powerful understanding of the ocean that slave owners began to torture them into fearing the thought of it.

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8 Queer-Owned African Fashion Brands to Check Out For Pride

In honor of pride month, we highlight eight African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

In the last decade, there have been an emergent of fashion designers who aren’t just queer but have aligned their fashion vision with their identity, creating demystifying collections and criss-crossing their concepts and ideologies to represent the inscape of non-conformity, fluidity, queerness and androgyny — whilst maintaining a quick balance with their cultural roots. Despite the numerous fabric experimentations and collections, these designers never forget to tell stories that align with them, especially those that resonate with queer people in queer unfriendly countries.

In honor of pride month, OkayAfrica highlights 8 African queer fashion designers and brands putting queer stories on the global map through fashion.

Rich Mnisi

South African designer Rich Mnisi is part of a new wave of designers putting African stories on the global map. Founded in 2015, the brand Rich Mnisi is immersed at offering fluid expression to gender, celebrating youthful excellence and exploring extremist design elements with minimalist cultural tailoring. For pride month, the brand released a limited edition capsule titled “Out." The capsule visualizes a fine-line between elegance and fluidity whilst boldly emphasizing on the act of struggle and resilience as an outfit.

Udiahgebi

For a fashion brand like Udiahgebi, identity is very important. And offering that form of visibility to femme queer Nigerians is not just a form of visual activism but a detailed story of essence. The brand was founded by Emerie Udiahgebi, a gender non-forming fashion designer who wanted to give queer, non-binary and non-conforming individuals more options to express themselves fashionably. Udiahgebi’s fashion concept is extremely bold, fierce, and unconventional.

Lagos Space Programme

Designer Adeju Thompson fuses traditionalist concepts with genderless possibilities. Founded in 2018, Lagos Space Programme is a gender-neutral fashion brand that enveloped aesthetic designs using local craftsmanship. The brand appreciates West African unique fabric and communicates compelling stories of identity, gender and queerness — a ideology that has garnered them not just audience but earned them a spot at the LVMH prize.

Muyishime

Patrick Muyishime is a fashion innovator. Not only does he know how to source excellent fabrics but his designs are authentically vibrant. Founded in 2016, Muyishime is a Kenyan fashion label that introduces conversations surrounding androgynous and explores aesthetically fabric inventions that commands fluidity, feminine wiles and constructive elegance.

Bola Yahaya

Founded in 2019, Bola Taofeek Yahaya's fashion label aligns thought provoking pieces that elevate the discusses around queer representation, sexuality and feminity. The brands merges sustainability and explore eccentric fabric experimentations.

Nao Serati

Founded by South African designer Nao Serati Mofammere in 2014, the fashion brand Nao Serati explores the versatility of gender and the fine margin of sexuality whilst finding its balance with their South African heritage. Mofammere wants his brand to explore masculinity and the different ways it takes to wear a fragile look.

Vangei

Lolu Vangei has different recipes to gender fluidity and she has used fashion to express that. Founded in 2018, Vangei is a fashion label that unites modern ideology of afro-centricism to produce pieces that dismantle cliched ideas about gender.

Mayetobs

There is no explaining the sort of talent Emmanuel Tobiloba possesses. Founded in 2020, Mayetobs' eccentric approach in reinstating androgynous norms is interesting. From oversized pants that speaks of fabric maximalism to fast flowing robes, the fashion brand is an ode to redefining modern masculinity.

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The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Kizz Daniel, Tekno, Focalistic, Ckay, Davido, Mayorkun and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music.

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(Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Coachella)

Black Coffee & Tresor’s Work On Drake’s New Album Speaks to the Rise of South African Music

Unlike the Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther: The Album or Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift album which had hints of South African flavours on them, Honestly, Nevermind is imbued with them.

On the 16th of June, news that rap superstar Drakewas dropping a surprise album first hit the internet. As with any of his releases, the announcement sent people into a frenzy. Leading up to the drop, the OVO camp, as part of a subtle and timely album rollout, put out a track list. Included in it as one of the album’s executive producers was South African super producer, DJ and artist Black Coffee. His name was listed amongst Drake’s regular collaborators and business partners, Noah 40 Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib and Noel Cadastre.

The two artists have previously collaborated on the remake of Black Coffee’s seminal 2009 hit “Superman.” Drake’s take on the instrumental and composition, “Get It Together,” was released almost a decade later on his 2017 playlist More Life. When the song dropped, the reviews and public reactions were split because of the original vocalist Bucie being replaced by then-burgeoning British singer Jorja Smith.

Fast forward to 2022, Black Coffee has a ‘Best Dance/Electronic’ Grammy award for his 2021 album Subconsciously, and has played at the biggest stages across the globe. It then shouldn’t come as a surprise that when putting together his experimental dance album, Drake tapped the South African producer to oversee and shape the sonic and creative direction of the album.

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