WTO gets first female, African Director General
Published: 08:23 PM, 16 February 2021
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister of Nigeria, becomes the first female, African Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The decision was made at a special meeting of the WTO’s General Council at which the World Bank veteran was formally selected.
According to a statement from the World Trade Organization, Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was appointed director-general of WTO by representatives of the 164 member countries.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to head the WTO. She will take up her duties on March 1 and her term, renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025,” said the statement.
The appointment came after new US President Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy, which had been blocked by former President Donald Trump.
After the appointment, Okonjo-Iweala said, “I am honored to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director General.”
I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again. Our organization faces a great many challenges but by working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile, and better adapted to the realities of today, she added.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international body that deals with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated among the bulk of the world’s nations and ratified in their legislatures.