Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finally Becomes WTO Director General - EDU-BIZNEWS


Monday, February 15, 2021

Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finally Becomes WTO Director General

Nigeria's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is now  Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), following her selection as consensus candidate for the top position at the global trade body, 

Edu-Biznews recalled that the main contender ,South Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew    from the contest, to pave the way for Okonjo-Iweala whose candidacy enjoys the popular support of member-countries

The former Finance Minister finally made history as  the first woman and African to head WTO, after several months of delay in the selection process under  United States' former President Donald Trump who preferred South Korea's Trade Minister at the expense of majority of the member-countries until when President Joe Biden took over and expressed US strong support for the Nigerian. 

The organization revealed the appointment  via its official tweeter handle

According to the tweet, “members made history today (15 February) when the General Council agreed by consensus to select Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the organization’s seventh Director-General.”

The tenure of Dr Okonjo-Iweala as Director General which  begins on March 1 and end on 31st August, 2025 is subject to renewal.

General Council Chair, David Walker of New Zealand who led the nine months selection process together with co-facilitators Amb. Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Amb. Harald Aspelund (Iceland), described her appointment as very significant moment in the history of WTO

“This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting,” Walker said 

“Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience. We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization,” he added.

The elated Okonjo-Iweala while appreciating the appointment, promised to give priority  to working closely with members of the organization to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General,” said Dr Okonjo-Iweala.

According to her, “A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic" 

"I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again. Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today", she stressed.

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