Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the new chairperson of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She is the first woman to hold this high position since the founding of the World Trade Organization in 1995.
In a digital meeting, all 164 member states agreed to the Okonjo-Iweala nomination. In recent times, the last major obstacle has already been removed, when the United States officially expressed support for Africa.
Under former President Donald Trump, the United States continues to pose problems in the search for a new head of the international arbitrator in trade disputes. While Okonjo-Iweala enjoyed widespread support from members of the World Trade Organization, the White House blocked her candidacy because it favored the other remaining candidate, South Korean Yoo Myung-hee.
Under Trump’s leadership, the United States has become less interested in the World Trade Organization. The US government’s refusal to appoint new members to the organisation’s main disputes committee effectively crippled the body.
Minister of Finance
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was minister of finance and foreign affairs in her native Nigeria. She has also served as a development economist and executive for the World Bank.
The top position in the World Trade Organization was unexpectedly launched in August when Brazilian Roberto Azevedo resigned a year before his term expired. Initially, Dutch Minister Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Trade) was traded as her successor, but she announced it was not available.
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