WTO DG: ECOWAS endorses Okonjo-Iweala, lists reasons

June 22, 2020
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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The tenure of the new WTO DG will be between 2021 – 2025.

President of Niger and ECOWAS head, Mahamadou Issoufou, announced Okonjo-Iweala’s endorsement.

A statement he signed urged other African and non-African countries to support the former Nigerian Minister.

ECOWAS recalled that since WTO creation on January 1, 1995, no African has assumed the position of a Director-General.

The WTO had publicized the process for the appointment with the opening and closing dates of nominations set as 8 June and 8 July 2020 respectively.

ECOWAS acknowledged “the strong academic and professional background of Dr Okonjo-lweala and her very large experience in national affairs as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister briefly in 2006”.

Issoufou explained that ECOWAS considered her “long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, her established reputation as a fearless reformer, her excellent negotiating and political skills, her experience of over 30 years as a Development Economist with a long-standing interest in trade”.

ECOWAS disclosed that the leadership also took into account “her excellent academic qualifications, her positions as Managing Director World Bank, and currently as Board Chair Gavi, and African Union Special Envoy to Mobilize Financial Resources for the fight against COVID-19”.

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