Okonjo-Iweala appointed first female DG of WTO

Okonjo-Iweala appointed first female DG of WTO

- Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaeala has reportedly received the endorsement to lead WTO as DG, Reuters reports

- If the report is true, the development economist will beat Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea to the top job

- With the victory, Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the first woman and African to lead the crisis-wracked organisation

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister, has reportedly been appointed the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), becoming the first woman and African to seal the top job, according to Reuters report.

If confirmed, Iweala, who is a development economist and former deputy managing director of World Bank, would have beaten her close challenger, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

Her victory was secured after she reportedly polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat South Korea’s trade minister at the final stage of the race.

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Prior to the final phase, Iweala had asserted her confidence in taking the top seat while speaking on Friday, October 16, during a virtual press briefing after the 55-member African Union officially supported her.

Okonjo-Iweala appointed first female DG of WTO
Okonjo-Iweala becomes the first woman and African to head WTO. Credit: Twitter (Bashir Ahmad)
Source: UGC

The 66-year-old former Nigerian minister received massive support from over 70 countries across the world in her quest to lead the organisation.

In her words:

"I feel the wind behind my back. If that person is African and a woman, I think that is great. Because... neither an African nor a woman has led the organisation.
"The WTO at this time with the challenges it confronts needs a very competent Director General who is able to have the political reach and stature to be able to do reforms and deal at very high levels."

On Wednesday, Okonjo-Iweala was said to have edged ahead in the highly competitive race and became the first female DG of WTO over its two-decade of existence where her over 26-year-experience will be used to sail the crisis-wracked organisation.

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In a related development, African Development Bank (AfDB) re-elected Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for a second 5-year term as the president of the bank.

The sole candidate for the multilateral lender was re-elected by the bank's board of governors at the AfDB virtual 55th annual meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday, August 27.

This was confirmed by Lauretta Onochie, the president's personal assistant on social media, via a tweet on her official Twitter page.

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