The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has nominated Mukhisa Kituyi, a former Kenyan minister of trade and industry, to lead Unctad, the UN trade and development body, which is seen as an intellectual counterweight to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If confirmed by the UN general assembly, Kituyi will succeed Supachai Panitchpakdi, from Thailand, as Unctad secretary general in September. The former Kenyan MP served as minister of trade and industry from 2002 to 2007. He is now a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington and chief executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance in Nairobi, which focuses on the links between academic and policy research and public policy. Dr Kituyi, Omukitwika clansman from Tongaren, Bungoma contested the last elections as Senator for the Bungoma County but was defeated by Moses Wetang’ula.