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Former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed as new Director General of the World Trade Organization and first woman to hold the position

Written by on February 16, 2021

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the new Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), becoming the first woman to ever head the organization and the first African to take on the role.

Born in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala graduated from Harvard University in 1976 and then earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She went on to become Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and the first woman to do so. She also served as the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ngozi was also the first female to run for the World Bank presidency, where she served for 25 years.

In October 2020, her WTO candidacy was supported by all geographic regions at the trade body except the United States, where the then-Trump administration said it would continue backing the Korean candidate. However, Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment was cleared when President Joe Biden announced his support for the 66-year old a few days ago.


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