Okonjo-Iweala becomes first woman, African to lead WTO

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

16th Feb, 2021. 11:48 am
Okonjo-Iweala WTO

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala has become the first woman and African to lead the World Trade Organization.

She was appointed director-general of the World Trade Organization by representatives from 164 member countries, according to a statement from the body.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, mentioned in a statement that her first priority would be to quickly resolve the economic and health consequences of coronavirus pandemic and to “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 said.

US President Donald Trump had earlier endorsed her candidacy, which had been blocked by former President Donald Trump.

The US delegate to the WTO said that he was “eager” to work with Okonjo-Iweala.

“The United States is committed to working closely with Director-General Okonjo-Iweala and she can count on the United States to be a constructive partner,” said Charge d’Affaires David Bisbee.

Biden’s decision to support the Nigerian women was part of his agenda to choose cooperative approaches to international issues.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Profile

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born 13 June 1954) is a Nigerian-born economist and international development, expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).

Previously, Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011).

She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively.

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