WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala advances to the next stage of the selection process

WTO DG: Okonjo-Iweala advances to the next stage of the selection process

The bid by Nigeria’s ex-minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recorded a huge success after she advanced to the next stage of the selection process.

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The general council of the WTO in a statement on Friday, September 18, announced that Okonjo-Iweala was listed among the candidates that advanced to the next stage.

David Walker of New Zealand who chairs the general council and his two co-facilitators disclosed that three out of the eight candidates were dropped, while five made it to the next stage.

Former minister, Okonjo-Iweala makes WTO final shortlist
The former minister of finance is still in the race for the top job along with five other contestants. Photo credits: Getty Images
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According to the council, the five candidates that advanced to the next stage are:

1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria

2. Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea

3. Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya

4. Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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5. Liam Fox of the United Kingdom

The WTO disclosed that the second phase of consultations would begin on September 24 and run until October 6 after which the organisation would announce two final candidates.

The goal was to name a new leader by November 7.

The chairperson of the general council expressed his gratitude to all the candidates, including those who did not advance further. He said:

“Their expertise and high professional and personal qualities are highly valued and respected by all members."

Meanwhile, Aliko Dangote, one of Africa's richest business mogul, has put out his voice in support of former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the best candidate to emerge as director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Dangote believes that the WTO needs a professional with proven international records like Okonjo-Iweala at its hem of affairs.

The Nigerian tycoon endorsed the former minister for the envied position on his verified Twitter page on Tuesday, September 1.

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In another report, it seems Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is getting a lot of local and international support for the World Trade Organisation job.

A former prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Gordon Brown, has lent his support to Okonjo-Iweala, arguing that she is the just the right person for the job, The Times reported.

Brown argued that the former minister has produced positive results even in the toughest of jobs across the world and is, therefore, fit for the much-contested position.

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