Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Clears Hurdle to Head WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: WTO Director-General

The former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s way to the top of the World Trade Organization is all cleared. This came after her running mate Yoo Myung-hee officially called off her candidacy in a televised briefing. Yoo’s decision came after a “close consultation” with the US, adding that the World Trade Organization has been for long without a leader.

Ngozi will be the first African and woman to lead the WTO. Since she entered the race to be the world’s top trade official, she has been supported by some board members including China, The European Union and Japan.

Despite support from board members, the economist and trade expert wasn’t supported by the Trump administration which complicated the decision for a new leader of the organization. The World Trade Organization hasn’t been with a leader since August after Robert Azevedo stepped down a year earlier than planned. This came when the WTO was caught in the middle of a trade fight between the US and China.

Okonjo in an interview with CNN in August said :

“The WTO needs a leader at this time. It needs a fresh look, a fresh face, an outsider, someone with the capability to implement reforms and to work with members to make sure the WTO comes out of the partial paralysis that it’s in.”

The Nigerian economist and financial expert has a reputable record in finance and trade related career. She worked with the World Bank as a development economist which led her to become the Managing Director . She has been listed as one of the greatest World Leaders by Fortune, one of the Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes, one of the Most Powerful Women in Africa among other prestigious recognition.

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