Its been a tough journey for the coveted title and now it’s about to come to a grand close, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has now become the last woman standing in the race to become the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation after South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee backed out on 5 February.
Iweala will be the first woman, and the first African, head of the WTO.
Recall, Okonjo Iweala had in time past received the most backing – over 70% of the WTO members, however the election process had been put indefinitely on hold after Donald Trump’s government insisted it would veto her candidacy and back Minister Yoo instead.
However, South Korea’s Yoo’s decision to withdraw from the race on 5 February was made in “close consultation with the United States”.
On 6 February, Okonjo-Iweala tweeted that she looked forward to formalising her accession, suggesting that things may now be moving fast.
Molly Toomey, spokesperson for Dr Okonjo-Iweala tells The Africa Report: “Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala congratulates Yoo Myung-hee on her long campaign and welcomes South Korea’s commitment to rebuilding and enhancing multilateralism. There is vital work ahead to do together. She looks forward to the conclusion of the Director-General selection process.”
The Biden administration is yet to confirm that it will back Okonjo-Iweala for the WTO leadership