Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as a favorite for the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). She sits on the driving seat ahead of South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, to emerge as the first African and first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation. The organization has never had an African as its leader in its 25-year history. Dr. Ngozi will likely replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who quit a year earlier than expected at the end of August. The European Union (EU) governments had before the final stage of the race for the WTO leadership race expressed support for Okonjo-Iweala and the South Korean candidate, Yoo Myung-hee.
Indeed, the latest EU’s support for Okonjo-Iweala is considered a strong signal to strengthen the multilateral order and a sign of mutual trust between the bloc and Africa, the official said.
Okonjo-Iweala, a 66-year-old economist and development specialist is a renowned global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience, having worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.
According to analysts, Okonjo-Iweala’s high professional/personal qualities, international contacts, and impeccable records as Nigeria’s former Finance minister/Foreign Affairs minister and as former managing director of the World Bank, stand her high above the other contestant.
Dr. Ngozi has urged the WTO to help poorer countries access COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.