Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is “by far the best qualified candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO)” according to the chairman of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Mahamat, who congratulated Okonjo-Iweala on her selection, together with Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea to the final round of consultations to select the next Director-General of the WTO, said the AU supports her candidacy.
“The Chairperson also wishes to commend the strong calibre of the three African candidates that participated in the selection process, leveraging world class African expertise on the world stage,” the statement read.
“The African Union is particularly proud of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s historic achievement, together with Yoo Myung-hee, to have set a historical precedent that will ensure that the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization will be a woman, a first in the 25year history of the Organization.
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s formidable global reputation in international finance, development and public health and vast experience in high-level leadership, makes her by far the best-qualified candidate to lead the WTO during this challenging time. The African Union strongly supports her candidacy and calls on Member States and friends of the Continent to vote for her.”
Ms Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are final two candidates – from an initial list of eight.
The Nigerian would be the first African to be director general of the WTO.
She has had two spells as finance minister and a short stint as foreign minister in Nigeria
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