The World Trade Organization, WTO has confirmed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female and the seventh Director-General.
In a tweet on Monday, the Organization disclosed that Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO.
However, it was announced that her term as the WTO’s Director-General starts on 1 March 2021, while her period will expire on 31 August 2025, though, it is renewable.
According to the Organization, WTO members decided to appoint Iweala at a special meeting of the General Council, following a selection process that included eight candidates worldwide.
Meanwhile, the General Council Chair, David Walker of New Zealand, congratulated Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcomed her to the General Council meeting.
Earlier, Okonjo-Iweala had opined that a critical priority for her would be to work with members to quickly address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was uncertainty before Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment because the United States initially supported South-Korea’s Yoo Myung hee.
However, President Joe Biden-led administration dropped the US objection to Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment following Ms Yoo’s decision to withdraw her candidacy on February 5.
The US government announced that Washington extends its strong support to the candidacy of Dr Okonjo-Iweala.
You will recall that the former Director-General of the Organization, Mr Roberto Azevêdo informed WTO members of his decision to step down from his post and subsequently left office on 31 August.