okonjo-iweala rebukes competitors

It is official: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria) is a finalist for selection as director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

She is one of two finalists, the other being Yoo Myung-hee (South Korea), the Agency has announced.

Amina Mohamed (Kenya), Mohammed Maziad Al-Tuwaijri (Saudi Arabia), and Liam Fox (UK) could not make the final cut.

Amb. David Walker made the formal announcement today 8 October, confirming a leak announced by Reuters earlier in the day.

“As was the case for the first round, the entire membership remained fully engaged in and committed to this process.

“The facilitators and I are grateful for this very positive response.

“It is clear that all members attach great importance to this process,” he said.

The third and final selection phase will last for eight days, beginning 19 October 2020.

An obviously elated Okonjo-Iweala immediately took to Twitter to express her appreciation for making it to the final round.

This result confirms earlier speculations because, no matter who gets final endorsement, a woman will head the organisation.

Thus, the eventual winner makes history as first female leader of WTO since it began 25 years ago.

The selection process is overseen by Walker, Amb. Castillo (chair, Dispute Settlement), and Amb. Aspelund (chair, Trade Policy Review).

They will engage in confidential consultations with members to determine and propose a candidate with the broadest support for appointment.

By Ogbuagu Anikwe

Ogbuagu is a prose stylist and a cross-cutting media manager with hands-on experiences in print, online and broadcast media management in Nigeria. He interrogates sociopolitical issues and communicates solutions with his trademark simplicity and disarming depth.