Egypt's Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh has been knocked out of the running to become the next leader of the World Trade Organization (WTO), along with candidates from Mexico and Moldova.
The two Africans left in the race are Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Kenya's Amina Mohamed.
They proceed to the second selection round with South Korea, the UK and Saudi Arabia.
The new leader is expected to take office in November.
The WTO sets the rules for global trade and adjudicates in trade disputes between nations.
It is also, according to its website, supposed to "open trade for the benefit of all".
BBC Africa business editor Zawadi Mudibo says there is a growing feeling among African diplomats that someone from the continent should be at the helm of one of the world's top economic institutions.