The new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says the organisation has been ‘vital’ for the coronavirus pandemic recovery.
Nigerian economist, Okonjo-Iweala, was appointed Monday as the first female and first African head of the WTO at a special general meeting.
“WTO members have just agreed to appoint Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next director-general,” the global trade body said in a statement, adding that the former Nigerian finance minister and World Bank veteran will take up her post on March 1.
Twice Nigeria’s finance minister and its first woman foreign minister, she has been described as a trailblazer.
Aside from her time in public office, the development economist also spent a quarter-century at the World Bank — rising to be managing director and running for the top role in 2012.
“I think she has delivered, whether in Nigeria or in other countries where she worked,” Idayat Hassan of the Centre for Democracy and Development research and advocacy group told AFP.
Born in 1954 in Ogwashi Ukwu, in Delta State, western Nigeria, her father is a traditional ruler. She spent much of her life in the United States, graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, where she sent her four children.
“She is not just liked in Nigeria, she is loved, because she is a symbol, and people are gunning for her because of what she represents for womanhood,” said Hassan.
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