Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as the Director General, World Trade Organisation, WTO.
Iweala emerged winner of the highly competitive race after polling 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat her opponent, South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee.
With the development, Iweala has become the first female and first African to occupy the office.
Speaking during a virtual press conference last Friday, she said the 55-man African Union (AU) officially endorsed her over her only opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
According to Reuters, a key group of WTO ambassadors has proposed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the UN agency.
The recommendation of former World Bank managing director, was made by three WTO ambassadors, the so-called “troika”.
This followed their consultation with members in a series of closed-door meetings in Geneva as part of an intricate and opaque process that some have compared to a papal succession.
Her endorsement by this powerful group has cleared the path for her to become the first woman and African to head the global watchdog in its 25-year history.
The proposal, which still needs full WTO approval, caps a more than four-month selection process involving intensive lobbying which saw her square up against South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee in the final round.