The EJS Center congratulates Nigeria for nominating one of Africa’s pre-eminent economists and female leaders, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, who is renowned for her leadership in finance and international development, is an EJS Center board member and chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She has served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006, 2011-2015, and briefly as Foreign Minister, the first woman to hold both positions. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the position of Managing Director, overseeing an $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.
The current Director-General of the WTO is expected to step down from his position by the end of August this year while the selection process for his replacement has already begun.
Discussing her nomination with the Financial Times, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said:
“A unified candidate for this important job at the dawn of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area would be a game-changer for Africa in the world and for Africa’s place in a rules-based global trading order.”
The EJS Center wishes Dr. Okonjo-Iweala the best of luck with her candidacy.