- The coast is getting clearer for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to emerge as the first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation
- If she gets the top job, Okonjo-Iweala will also be the first African to occupy the coveted position
- Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria's former finance and foreign affairs minister and a well-respected economist
The European Union have backed Nigeria’s former finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her bid to become the first African and first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The endorsement of the 27 EU-member states brings the number of countries officially endorsing Okonjo-Iweala to 106 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO.
The 55-member African Union had earlier officially supported the former World Bank director over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala had also won the goodwill of a group of Caribbean and Pacific States as well as others from Asia.
The European Parliament had endorsed Okonjo-Iweala to head the WTO, saying she is well-equipped.
A European Union official quoted in a foreign newspaper said the EU will publicly announce its support for the 66-year-old economist today.
Meanwhile, Aliko Dangote, one of Africa's richest business mogul, has declared his support for Okonjo-Iweala in the race.
Dangote believes that the WTO needs a professional with proven international records like Okonjo-Iweala at its helm of affairs.
The Nigerian tycoon endorsed the former minister for the envied position on his verified Twitter page on Tuesday, September 1.
Similarly, a former prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Gordon Brown, has lent his support to Okonjo-Iweala, arguing that she is just the right person for the job.
Brown argued that the former Nigerian finance and foreign minister has produced positive results even in the toughest of jobs across the world and is, therefore, fit for the much-contested position.
Also, the minority leader of Nigeria's House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, has lent his support for Okonjo-Iweala's candidacy.
In his submission during plenary in the green chambers recently, Elumele stated that Okonjo-Iweala is very qualified for the position.
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