WTO: Okonjo-Iweala gets the support of 79 countries
Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has expressed confidence in her quest to lead the crisis-wracked World Trade Organisation after all of Africa backed her candidacy, vowing she would champion reform.
She expressed her confidence in the race after she received news that the 55-member African Union would officially support her candidacy over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea for the position of WTO leadership.
In addition to the block vote support promised by the group of 55 African countries, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also hinted that the group of Caribbean and Pacific states has also promised her support bringing the number of countries officially backing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO.
She also expressed delight in the level of support that she is expecting from Latin America countries, and what she called “very good traction and good support” in Asia so far.
While explaining what they have been able to do so far also added that she’s hopeful that the European Union will soon announce their preferred candidate.
As part of efforts to ensure that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala clings to the WTO top position, President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, assured Okonjo-Iweala during her visit to Aso Villa in Abuja that he would do all within his powers to ensure she gets the job.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was two-time Nigeria’s female finance, and once a foreign minister. She has had 25-year career experience in international development at the World Bank, and said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is pushing to get to the helms of affairs at the global organization at a time when the organization was grappling with trade negotiations that are already stalling and dragging to curb tensions between the United States and China.