Former Nigerian finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has finally become the first African and first female director-general of the World Trade Organization after several months of delay.
According to a tweet from the official account of the WTO, the newly appointed DG would commence her term on March 1, 2021.
Recall that she contested with seven other candidates in the race to lead the global institution.
However, the Donald Trump-led administration stalled her appointment when it supported South Korea Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee.
Major Ambassadors of the WTO recommended her for the job, prompting the recently inaugurated President of the United States, Joe Biden, to endorse the 66-year-old former finance minister.
When questioned, Okonjo-Iweala said she would prioritize the long-blocked trade talks on fishery subsidies across the finish line and revive the WTO’s Appellate Body.
She served twice as the minister of finance in Nigeria (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and as a foreign minister for two months in 2006.
BREAKING: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria is appointed as the next WTO Director-General.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO.
Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021.
— WTO (@wto) February 15, 2021
The newly appointed DG earlier dismissed claims that she was inexperienced as a trade minister or negotiator, maintaining that “boldness, courage,” were the qualities needed to lead the WTO.
Recall that the WTO scheduled a special general meeting to formally appoint Okonjo-Iweala as the new director-general of the global trade institution.
This is just as President Joe Biden of the United States of America supported her candidacy after the last contender, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, pulled out of the race.
After receiving Biden administration’ support, Okonjo-Iweala said on February 6, “I look forward to finalizing the process.”