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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finally Appointed WTO DG

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Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Okonjo-Iweala now becomes the first woman and also African to lead the Switzerland-based institution.

Her appointment came after the WTO had a special general council meeting on Monday.

US President Joe Biden’s backing came in handy after former President Donald Trump said he won’t support her candidacy. Her candidacy was cemented with the only other remaining contender, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, pulling out.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as her country’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank.

Okonjo-Iweala, who also serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance and as a special envoy for the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 fight, saw her candidacy get a boost when the EU threw its weight behind her.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis hit, the WTO was already grappling with stalled trade talks and struggling to curb tensions between the United States and China.

The global trade body has also faced relentless attacks from Washington, which has crippled the WTO dispute settlement appeal system and threatened to leave the organization altogether.

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