Monday, April 12, 2021

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become WTO’s first female leader

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become WTO’s first female leader

New York: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria, appears set to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organisation, with the Biden administration announcing its “strong support” for her candidacy. She would be the first woman and the first African national to lead the organisation.

Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean trade minister who was also a finalist for the role, said on Saturday that she planned to withdraw herself from consideration, leaving the path open for Okonjo-Iweala, The Associated Press reported.

The WTO is expected to announce a meeting to confirm the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala within a matter of days.Credit:Getty Images

The two women were announced as finalists for the trade organisation’s top job in October, whittled down from a group of eight candidates over several months, with Okonjo-Iweala emerging as the person with the broadest support, the WTO said at the time.

But because the organisation, a trade-regulation body that has existed in its current form since 1995, requires that none of its 164 members oppose the choice, president Donald Trump, who supported Yoo and said he would not back the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala, was able to hold up the process, according to the WTO statement.

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