Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Reported by Reuters

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged the Director General, World Trade Organisation, WTO.

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.

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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.

It still needs to be approved by consensus at a meeting of the WTO’s 164 members.

In the run-up to the DG chair, Okonjo-Iweala had the support of AU and on Tuesday, the EU also pledged support.