February 16 At the special session of the General Council of the World Trade Organization on the 15th, all WTO members unanimously agreed to appoint Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General.
In a press release issued on the same day, the WTO said that Okonjo-Iweala would be the first female director-general and the first African director-general to head the organization, from March 1 this year to August 31, 2025.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria is an elite economist who faced corruption and kidnappers at home and held senior positions in the World Bank, reported from Thomson Reuters Foundation Abuja on February 12. She will become the first woman to oversee global trade and the first African descent.
The 66-year-old Harvard graduate was called a “troublemaker” by his Nigerian friends and enemies because she defended the poor and fought for justice, the report said.
The report also said that this is the former finance minister’s favorite nickname. In her book Reform Unreformable, she wrote: “This is a medal of honor.
If I was seen as a trouble for the … the authorities because I wanted to clean up our public finances and work for the good life of Nigerians, that’s what I do.”
According to the report, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala saw his mother kidnapped. The full details of the release have never been revealed.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also received threatening phone calls and wisely sought her fallen political opponents.
The report pointed out that at a time when the basic rules of the economy are pending, these are excellent qualifications for a woman responsible for guiding global trade back on track and bridging the widening gap.
Previously, Okonjo-Iweala won the support of the White House for his leadership of the WTO, thus removing the obstruction imposed by former President Trump.
According to the report, Okonjo-Iweala was born in the small town of Oguahi Uku in southern Nigeria. She spent most of her childhood with her grandmother, while her parents studied in the United States. She sometimes recalls the hardships she experienced in her early years.
She left her hometown as a teenager in 1973 to study economics at Harvard University, received her PhD in regional economics and development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, and eventually became an American citizen in 2019.
In 2007, she founded the first indigenous opinion research organization in Nigeria, NOI Polling Organization, in cooperation with Gallup Consulting Company of the United States.
According to the report, following her footsteps at Harvard, her daughter and three sons graduated from Ivy League colleges. Her husband is a neurosurgeon in Washington.
The report pointed out that Okonjo-Iweala spent most of his career at the World Bank. She was the first female finance minister of Nigeria under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“At that point, it seems like we have to solve all problems right away,” Okonjo-Iweala wrote in his book.
“We need to correct fundamental inequalities, widespread corruption and power struggles that undermine Nigerian society,” she said.
The report said that supporters hope that Okonjo-Iweala can revitalize the leaderless WTO. Observers say the organization is facing the deepest crisis in its history. The organization has failed to finalize an important multilateral trade agreement for many years and has failed to end overfishing subsidies by the 2020 deadline.
Okonjo-Iweala previously said she looked forward to the end of the leadership competition and continued to push forward the necessary reforms. She previously stressed that the WTO needs to play a role in helping poorer countries with a coronavirus vaccine.
“Trade can help public health – seeing that connection, citing those [WTO] rules, actively discussing the coronavirus, and how the WTO can help … is a priority for me,” she told Reuters last September.