Friday, April 12, 2024

Nigerian economist Okonjo-Iweala to become WTO chief today

The leadership change came as the WTO is in its deepest crisis since it was founded in 1995.

• February 15, 2021
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The World Trade Organization is set to get its first leader from an African nation on Monday (today).

Senior Nigerian economist, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (also the first woman to assume the post), is the only remaining candidate for the troubled organisation in Geneva.

Her appointment as director general at a meeting of envoys from the 164 WTO member countries is considered a mere formality.

The previous United States’ administration of President Donald Trump had blocked the appointment process by opposing Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala.

Mr. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, last week supported Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who previously served as Nigeria’s finance and foreign minister, and as the managing director of the World Bank.

The Nigerian prevailed over other candidates in the months-long WTO leadership race, including South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung Hee, her main rival.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala will succeed Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who left the WTO before the end of his term in August, to join the US beverage giant, Pepsico, as an executive.

The leadership change came as the WTO is in its deepest crisis since it was founded in 1995.

The WTO is no longer able to settle trade disputes between countries as the US blocked appeals judges’ appointment.

The Trump administration sought reforms of the WTO, without clearly spelling out its demands.

Also, free trade talks have been stalled for years, and the WTO now also faces a global economic crisis.

(dpa/NAN)

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State

Politics

Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”

Polio immunisation vaccine

Health

In world first, Nigeria introduces new five-in-one vaccine against meningitis

Health workers roll out an immunisation campaign aiming to reach one million people.

NCDC

Health

U.S. government donates laboratory equipment to Nigeria to tackle disease outbreaks

The U.S. official also noted that Nigeria was facing several disease outbreaks.

FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike [Credit: Chi Geru]

Abuja

Wike vows to bring development to rural areas in FCT

“The rural areas are part of the FCT and should enjoy good governance.”

Peter Mbah

States

Enugu govt. queries 164 civil servants for absenteeism

“We are also introducing electronic clock-in and the watchword is productivity.”