ECOWAS Endorses Okonjo-Iweala For WTO DG


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has backed the candidature of Nigerian Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

In a statement disclosed and signed by President Mahamodu Issoufou, it revealed that the organization is fully in support of her nomination.

President Mahamadou Issoufou also called on other African countries and non-African countries to support her candidature. He said “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.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who currently is the chairman of the board of Gavi, the vaccine alliance, has previously served as Nigeria’s Minister for Finance and Foreign Affairs and was also Managing Director Operations at the World Bank.

Okonjo-Iweala is the second candidate fronted by a country from Africa after Egypt nominated Egyptian-Swiss lawyer Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh, who is a former long-serving WTO senior official, for the position.

By the end of August this year, Roberto Azevêdo who is the current WTO Director-General will step down and a new successor will be made known. 

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