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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Breaking: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emerges new WTO DG

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, has emerged Director General, World Trade Organisation today.


This is following the 27 European Union member states throwing their weight behind her bid to become the first African and first female director-general of the global body.

The EU member states are France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

A total of 106 countries officially endorsed her out of  164 states that comprise the WTO.

The 55-member African Union had earlier officially supported the former World Bank director over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

See also: Gaining broader backing in WTO DG Race: Okonjo-Iweala confident of ‘strong support’ from Africa

Okonjo-Iweala had also won the goodwill of a group of Caribbean and Pacific States as well as others from Asia.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to emerge new WTO DG

The WTO’s consultation process ends today and the new leader is expected to be named in November but an EU official said the EU will publicly announce its support for the 66-year-old economist today, according to AFP.

The final winner between the two women will replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo and former director-general of the 25-year-old trade organisation.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations, had included three Africans – Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Emerges WTO DG

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