Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Makes Herstory As First Female and African Leader of WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Makes Herstory As First Female and African Leader of WTO

The former two-time Nigerian finance minister and former managing director of World Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is now the first woman to head World Trade Organization.

Her appointment was publicised on Monday as she prepares to officially occupy the office of director-general of the World Trade Organization by March 1 to August 2025.

She is not just the first woman to lead the organization which oversees trade rules between nations, but also the first leader from Africa. Her appointment to occupy such a position has greatly inspired Africans especially the young African women from across various disciplines.

This has sparked the #BelikeNgoziChallenge on social media with ladies and female children dressing to appear as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her famous African fashion style.

Former Vice President of World Bank Africa, Oby Ezekwesili, showed her support after little Mildred Ogah brought the challenge to a halt.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has risen to the peak of the WTO despite not gaining support during Trump’s administration. The administration rather gave their support to another candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s Trade Minister who is also the first woman to hold that position. Earlier this month, Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her candidacy.

The Biden-Harris administration has continued to embrace diversity giving strong support to Dr Ngozi. Previously, the administration lifted the travel ban imposed by former U.S. president Donald Trump, as well as appointing three Nigerian-born Americans into the cabinet: Adewale Adeyemo, Osaremen Okolo, and Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appreciates Fellow Women In Trade

The new director-general of WTO extended gratitude to Christine Lagarde, Kristalina Georgieva, Janet Yellen, Chrystia Freeland, and Odile Renaud-Basso, among other respected women in finance who she called sisters.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said:

“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again,” .

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

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