Breaking: Okonjo-Iweala elected WTO DG

Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The former Nigerian finance minister becomes the first African and first female director-general of the WTO after receiving the backing of European heavyweights France and Germany and 104 other nations including the African Union (AU) block.

Okonjo-iweala, 66, had earlier received the backing of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who said he’d do all he could to support her historic bid.

And on Wednesday, she was confirmed as the new chief of the Geneva-based organisation, edging out her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

She replaces Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, the outgoing director-general of the 25-year-old organisation.

A renowned development economist, Okonjo-Iweala sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity.

Her immediate task will be to navigate global trade away from the dip occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.


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