Connect with us

African News

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes history as head of WTO

Published

on

The newly-appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the organisation would get the global economy running again during her tenure as the WTO DG.

She said this on Monday while reacting to her appointment, which takes effect from March 1, 2021.

She also expressed willingness to make the WTO stronger, adding that the organisation would adapt to the “realities of today”.

She said, “I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General.

“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to working with members to shape and 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.”

Okonjo-Iweala, whose tenure begins March 1, is the first woman and African to hold the position.

The WTO stated this in a tweet on Monday, saying, “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria is appointed as the next WTO Director-General. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO. Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021.

“WTO members took the decision to appoint @NOIweala at a special meeting of the General Council, following a selection process that included eight candidates from around the world #WTODG.”

The former Minister had, a few days ago, received the backing of the administration of US President Joe Biden for the role.

Nigeria’s first woman finance minister trained as a development economist – she has degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

66-year-old Iweala spent a quarter of a century at the World Bank, rising to be managing director and running for the top role in 2012, and is seen as a trailblazer in her home country.