Ngozi Goes To WTO, By Reuben Abati


The biggest piece of happy-ending news in Nigeria in the month of February 2021 was the endorsement of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the United States. The South Korean candidate for the position, Yoo Myung-hee, whose candidacy had enjoyed the backing of the United States under the Trump administration, withdrew and the South Korean authorities have since pledged their support for Dr. N.O. Iweala. The South Korean’s earlier refusal to step down had made it difficult for Dr. Iweala to be confirmed by consensus when she got the majority of the votes at the end of the selection process in October 2020. The WTO chooses its Director General by consensus. The Trump administration rejected Iweala on the grounds that she did not have requisite experience in “trade negotiations”. The process had to be kept on hold until after the US presidential election of November 2020.  

Luck is a very powerful factor in human affairs. As it turned out, Donald Trump lost the election. His loss is not a gain for the Democrats and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris alone, it was also a major gain for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who has now benefitted from the change in the United States, as a globalist, liberal president has emerged in the White House. One of Biden’s earliest tasks in office was to undo the damage left behind by his predecessor, and a resolve to re-establish America’s leadership in the international order, especially with regard to such issues as climate change, and America’s role and place in the world through such multilateral institutions as the UN, the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation  On Monday, February 15, the WTO officially announced Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the WTO (March 1, 2021 – August 2025). You should have been in Nigeria or on Nigerian Social Media on that day.  

Nigerian Twitter exploded with…

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