Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
Home News It’s Official! Okonjo-Iweala Appointed WTO Director-General – First Woman in History to Hold the Position
News - February 15, 2021

It’s Official! Okonjo-Iweala Appointed WTO Director-General – First Woman in History to Hold the Position

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been officially named the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) after months of stiff competition that narrowed her chance of clinching the position.

Business Elites Africa reported last Friday that the WTO General Council would confirm Okonjo-Iweala as the new DG of the Organization on Monday, Feb. 15, during a virtual meeting. The announcement was made moments ago.

Okonjo-Iweala is expected to assume office on March 1, 2021. Her tenure, which is renewable, will expire on August 31, 2025.

Welcoming her to the organization, the WTO General Council Chair, David Walker, said, “this is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting.”

“Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience. We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization,” the Council chairman added.

Walker, who is from New Zealand, led the nine-month DG selection process. Other members of the selection team were Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Ambassador Harald Aspelund (Iceland).

Okonjo-Iweala became the lone candidate in the race when her close rival, Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s Trade Minister, stepped down. This followed a decision by the United States to withdraw its support for Yoo and throw its weight behind the Nigerian candidate instead.

Former US President, Donald Trump had recommended Yoo for the position, describing her as the most qualified candidate, but upon the inauguration for the Joe Biden administration, that decision was reversed, the move which solidified Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy.

Watch Okonjo-Iweala speak passionately about Africa below:





Leave a Reply

Check Also

The Continuous Wealth Decline of Patrice Motsepe: A Further Loss of $100 Million

Patrice Motsepe, South African billionaire,  continues to face financial setbacks as his n…