Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, has been appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
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Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment was announced on Monday by the Geneva-based organisation.
She becomes the first woman and African to lead the WTO
“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,” the WTO announced on Twitter.
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“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.”
BREAKING: 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.
More details soon. #WTODG@NOIweala pic.twitter.com/2RJkkfK2Id
— WTO (@wto) February 15, 2021
All WTO member countries except the United States, had voted Okonjo-Iweala as their preferred candidate in 2020.
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The US said it favoured her opponent; South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, because the WTO needs someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.
During the candidates’ presentation stage, Egypt had also kicked against Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination.
Egypt and the African Union’s Office of Legal Counsel had claimed that Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination violated the candidature guidelines provided by the AU.
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The former Nigerian minister emerged from a shortlist of five candidates selected from a pool of eight candidates.
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