Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s nominee for the position of Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has expressed profound gratitude for the political support coming from West Africa heads of government.
Okonjo-Iweala, in a tweet via her Twitter handle, @NOIweala, stated that she was happy to make it to the second round in the job contest with candidates from other countries of the world.
She served Nigeria as Minister of Finance and subsequently Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2006. She joined the World Bank Group as Managing Director from December 1, 2007 to August 2011 when she returned as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
Okonjo-Iweala holds the profile of a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. She currently chairs the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
She is a top contender for the position of the WTO Director General after scaling the initial screening that saw the number of candidates pruned from eight to five.
The vacancy arose when Brazilian Director General Roberto Azevedo decided to step down at the end of August, a year ahead of his full tenure.
The General Council of WTO is scheduled to announce a new leader by November 7 from two final candidates to be selected at the conclusion of second phase of consultations which runs from September 24 to October 6.
In expressing her happiness on falling within the five remaining candidates for the job, she tweeted: “Happy to have made it to the next round of @wto DG selection process. Heartfelt thanks to President @MBuhari and all @ecowas_cedeao Presidents for their unflinching support. Thanks also to COS, HMFA and his team, HMT and his team. And to all Nigerians for their Prayers thank you!”