Okonjo-Iweala may become WTO director-general on Feb. 15

NGOZI Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist and former finance minister, may be announced director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Monday.

According to a WTO statement seen by The ICIR, the global trade organisation will announce who occupies the DG position on February 15.

The statement titled ‘WTO General Council to consider appointment of next Director-General’ stated that the consideration would take place during its meeting slated for 3pm, Geneva, Switzerland time.

The meeting to decide the director-generalship of the WTO is set to take place in a virtual format.

The ICIR had reported that Okonjo-Iweala was poised to lead the organisation following the stepping down of South Korean opponent, Yoo Myung-hee.

Yoo announced her withdrawal after ‘consulation’ with major countries, including the United States.

The Trump-led US government was the only obstacle to Okonjo-Iweala’s victory in 2020 after it threw its weight behind the South Korean candidate.

In a sharp turn of events, Trump lost his second term presidential bid, and former US leaders are said to have advised incumbent US president, Joe Biden, to support the Nigerian economist.

Being the only candidate for the position, Okonjo-Iweala could be the first African to hold the seat as well as first woman to ever become the DG of the 164-member organisation.

Who is Okonjo-Iweala?

In Africa, she is well-known as an economist . She is applauded for lifting her country, Nigeria, out of debt, which she secured from the Paris Club during her time as the nation’s minister of finance.



    Over the years, she has served as a development economist, and finance/international development expert.

    Okonjo-Iweala graduated with a degree in Economics from Harvard University in the United States (US) and also earned a doctorate degree in Regional Economics and Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), also in the US.

    The development economist also has 15 honorary degrees from top universities around the world, including Yale, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania.

    Beyond her fascinating education, Okonjo-Iweala has served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister after a successful career in the World Bank, rising to the level of managing director.  While serving as finance minister for the second time in Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan, she was also the  coordinating minister of the economy.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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