Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has made history as the first African and woman to lead the World Trade Organization.
The World Trade Organization announced the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its new director-general today – making her the first woman and first African to hold the role.
Recall that South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee abandoned her bid to head the WTO on Friday February, 5,2020.
Yoo Myung-hee consulted with the United States her primary backer and other major countries and “decided to renounce her candidacy,” South Korea’s trade ministry said in a statement. The process to name a successor for Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down last August, has been deadlocked for months.
Key WTO ambassadors tapped Okonjo-Iweala back in October as the best pick to lead the organization, but without US support the process was left at a standstill since the director-general is normally chosen by consensus among all 164 member states.
However, US President Joe Biden’s administration offered its “strong support” to Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Okonjo-Iweala served as Nigeria’s finance minister and worked for 25 years as a specialist in development economics at the World Bank. She says she can be a “clear set of eyes” for the global trade body.