AU throws weight behind Okonjo-Iweala for WTO position


 The chairman of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has declared that Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is “by far the best qualified candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO)”.


Mahamat who gave his backing in a statement issued on Thursday said that; “The African Union strongly supports her candidacy and calls on member states and friends of the continent to vote for her.”


Ms Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are the final two candidates – from an initial list of eight.


Mrs Iweala will come head to head with Yoo Myung-hee, also a female, in an epoch-making final that will choose for the first time a woman head in the twenty five-year old Geneva based institution.


The grand finale will equally make a milestone on racial terms in the sense it is bound to produce either the first African director-general of the WTO or its first South-Korean head should the electoral victory swing in the way of Iweala or Myung-hee in early November.


Interestingly, both women rode on the back of 27-member European Union to come this far.


The Nigerian would be the first African to be director general of the WTO.


She has had two spells as finance minister in her country, and a short stint as foreign affairs minister. She also spent time at the World Bank as Managing Director.

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