Nigeria’s Ngozi to slug it out with the UK’s Liam for WTO top post as nomination closes


The United Kingdom has nominated Dr Liam Fox for the post of World Trade Organsation (WTO) Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020.

It means he will need to ward off competition from others including Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was the Minister for Finance and Foreign Affairs and was also Managing Director Operations at the World Bank.

All the candidates are expected to meet with members of the WTO at a special General Council meeting, to present their views and take questions from the membership.

The nomination period closed on Wednesday July 8, according to the timetable announced by the Chair of the General Council, David Walker.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in a statement thrown its weight behind the candidature of Dr Okonjo-Iweala for the position after Nigeria formally nominated Dr Okonjo-Iweala, the economist, for the position for the period 2021-2025.

A statement signed by the chairperson of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Mahamadou Issoufou also called on other African countries and non-African countries to support her candidature.

“…since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995, which is a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established on 1 January 1948, no African has assumed the position of Director-General of the Organization,” the statement said in part.



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