Despite US opposition, Okonjo-Iweala set to become WTO D-G

Nigeria’s nominee for the position of the Director-General (D-G) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is set to emerge winner of the competitive race.

According to Reuters, a key group of WTO ambassadors proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the trade organisation yesterday and she won the popular vote by a wide margin, with the expectation of an announcement after their meeting in Geneva, as the heads of the delegation, who met by 3pm, failed to reach a consensus.

Although, after the meeting, Reuters reported that the US refused to support the candidature of Okonjo-Iweala, thereby protracting the process. However, unlike the World Bank where the US has a larger voting power than other countries, the WTO is run differently, by the consensus of every member country.

Once officially announced, Okonjo-Iweala will be the first African and first female director-general of the international body in its 25-year history.

Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s finance minister during the tenures of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and has vast experience working at international governance bodies, as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.

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