WTO Top Job: Despite Hiccups, I Remain Positive – Okonjo-Iweala


Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian Minister of Finance, says she remains optimistic about being the World Trade Organization’s first African and first female Director-General amid ‘hiccups.’

The ex-World Bank director said she felt humbled to have been elected the candidate with the largest votes amongst the 164 member states of the 25-year-old global trade organisation.

Okonjo-Iweala made this disclosure in a Tweet on Thursday

She said, “Happy for the success of our @wto DG bid and continued development.
Despite the hiccups, we are heading to the next move on Nov 9. We will keep the positivity going”.

When key WTO ambassadors headed by New Zealand ‘s Ambassador David Walker proposed Okonjo-Iweala as the best candidate for the role, many Nigerians expressed delight. But the U.S. delegation rejected the move, saying instead that it backed South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee.

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Since then, some Nigerians have compared the US opposition to that experienced by the head of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, who, before his re-election, also faced extreme hostility from Washington.

The Federal Government, meanwhile, said it will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that its candidate’s lofty ambition to lead the WTO is realized.

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