Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala through to final round in race for WTO boss


Former Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has made it through to the final run-off in the race for the leadership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Okonjo-Iweala faces South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee in the final race from an initial pool of eight candidates.

“Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Korean minister Yoo Myung-hee will advance to the third and final stage,” WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters at the global trade body’s headquarters in Geneva.

The pair received a boost earlier this week when EU member states officially threw their weight behind them.

Rather than voting, the 164 WTO member states make decisions by consensus only and have been narrowing down the field of candidates through lengthy consultations.

Both finalists are female which means the Geneva-based body is on course to selecting its first-ever female leader in history.

Whoever wins the contest — with a decision due before November 7 — will take over an organisation mired in multiple crises and struggling to help member states navigate a severe global economic slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a tweet confirming her advancement, Okonjo-Iweala thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for their support.


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