AfricaBusiness & FinanceNigeria

WTO: Okonjo-Iweala becomes First African Female Director-General

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has become the first African female Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while beating her counterpart from South Korea, Current Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee at the final ground battle.

She emerged winner in a fierce battle for the coveted job on Monday night, as it was reported that influential nations within the global power bloc had a rigorous time to working in Nigeria’s favour with high-level negotiations even as China reportedly tilted the dynamics.

it was the decisive and quiet support of China that finally tipped the scales in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour, as the European nations and the United States moving in the opposite direction, a move that triggered a deadlock between the two powerful geopolitical allies for the first time in many years.

A top diplomat in Geneva told The New Diplomat in confidence: “China quietly changed the game. They said nothing openly but silently they, deftly China voted in Nigeria’s favour.”

Okonjo-Iweala served two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister. She has experience working at international governance bodies as a former Managing Director of the World Bank, and as Chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

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