Nigerian Economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala first female chosen to head WTO
Dr Okonjo-Iweala's role would be keenly observed in the stressed US - China Trade Relations
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has chosen Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its new Director General - making her the first woman and the first African to hold this coveted position. Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a two-term Nigeria's finance minister, has worked for World Bank for 25 years as a specialist in development economics.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala will take office on 1st March, 2021 after she was chosen by consensus to head WTO. Her term, renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025. Dr Okonjo-Iweala said a key priority for her would be to work with members to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today."
The process for selecting a new Director-General was triggered when former Director-General Mr Roberto Azevêdo informed WTO members he would be stepping down from his post one year before the expiry of his mandate.
She says she can be a "clear set of eyes" for the global trade body.