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Nigerian economist Okonjo-Iweala elected as first woman, African to head WTO

Nigerian economist Okonjo-Iweala elected as first woman, African to head WTO

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New York [US], February 16 (ANI): Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was on Monday elected as the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) seventh Director-General, becoming the first woman and first African to take on the role.
According to an official statement, the WTO members made history on Monday (local time) when the General Council agreed by consensus to select Iweala as the organisation's next head.
Iweala's tenure will start from March 1 and will expire on August 31, 2025.
After her confirmation, Iweala said that her priority will be to work with members to address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again. Our organisation faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today," she said.
Meanwhile, WTO General Council Chair David Walker congratulated Iweala on her appointment.
"This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO's next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting," said Walker from New Zealand, who led the nine-month DG selection process with co-facilitators Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Ambassador Harald Aspelund (Iceland).
"Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience. We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization," he added.
According to The Hill, the 66-year-old Nigerian economist was appointed to serve a four-year term ending in August 2025 and assumes the director-general position after the WTO conducted a nine-month search process for its new head. (ANI)

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