Nigeria : Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes office as WTO boss

Nigeria : Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes office as WTO boss

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes over the World Trade Organization, WTO, on Monday  February, 01 2021, after the International  institution was left adrift for seven months following the sudden departure of Brazilian , Roberto Azevedo.

Nigeria's  former finance  minister received a warm reception from the WTO personnel as she appeared in her African-print tailored outfits.

Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her first day as WTO Director-General! She makes history as the first woman and first African to take up this post.” WTO official  said.

66-year-old Ngozi therefore becomes  first woman, and  first African, to occupy the position of  WTO Director General. One of her first tasks will consist of nominating four new deputy directors to help recharge the organisation’s negotiating mechanisms.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should have no trouble dealing with international trade negotiators in her new job at the World Trade Organisation after 25 years spent at the World Bank where she is credited with spearheading several initiatives to assist low-income countries, in particular raising nearly $50 billion in 2010 from donors for the International Development Association, IDA.

Okonjo-Iweala  earlier said that one of her main objectives is to push long-blocked trade talks on fishery subsidies across the finish line in time for the ministerial conference, but with negotiations dragging on, that could be a tough sell.

Besides she had  voiced concern about growing protectionism and nationalism during the coronavirus crisis and insists trade barriers must be lowered to help the world recover.

Dr Ngozi is a Harvard-educated development economist  credited for her exploits in the Nigerian Economy. Her economic reforms had a far-reaching impact and saved Nigeria at a critical period, according to prominent Nigerian economist, Bismarck Rewane.

From an initial eight candidates, she was the clear favourite among the last two standing on November 2020 and was finally anointed by the WTO’s 164 members on February 15.

 

 

 

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