Nigerian born Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is to become the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO). The coast appeared to be clear for the US-based former Nigeria Minister of Finance after Yoo Myung-hee the South Korean candidate for the World Trade Organisation director-general withdrawn her candidacy.
Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo were the two contenders for the exalted position.
According to a statement released by the Korean Ministry of Trade today Friday, February 5, Yoo made the decision after discussions with the U.S. and other major nations and took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization.
The Biden administration on Friday, Feb 5, 2021, said the U.S. would support Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, hours after South Korea’s trade minister stepped out of the race.
WTO is involved in preserving free and non-discriminatory trade.
Ms Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank.
She also serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance and as a special envoy for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 fight.
Okomjo-Iweala who is also a U.S. citizen emerged as the front-runner for the WTO director-general post in 2020.