Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala enters final round of race for the new DG of WTO

Emeh Joy

The former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Iweala has made it to the final stage of the race of who will become the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She entered the final stage with South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee.

The World Trade Organization on Thursday said the two women were the candidates remaining for the position of the Director-General after the field was cut from five candidates to two.

"Both of the women that are in the final round are remarkably well-qualified. This is something on which everyone has agreed", WTO spokesman, Keith Rockwell had told reporters.

Whoever wins between the two reputable women would be replacing Brazilian Roberto Azevedo who stepped down a year earlier than expected in August end.

66-year-old Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received the support of not just Nigerians but also the global community. She is a former Nigerian finance and foreign minister, a development specialist and an economist.

In 1981, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had earned her PhD in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She also interned with the World Bank as a student and after graduating, worked with the bank for 25 years.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala currently serves as board chair of global vaccine alliance Gavi. According to Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO should play a role in helping poorer countries access COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.

"The winning candidate will face formidable challenges with rising global tensions and protectionism during a COVID-induced slowdown, as well as pressure to drive reforms", Reuters said.

Many have congratulated Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on making it to the final round of the race for the first female Director-General of WTO.

The general belief is that she is capable as she has been credited with the development of reform programs which has helped stabilise the economy of Nigeria.

Clacified congratulates Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for making it up to this point while wishing her the best in the pursuit of this position.

The World Trade Organization will hold a third and final selection round for the position of the Director-General on October 19-27, with a view to having a DG in place by early November when the U.S. presidential election will be taking place.

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