The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has confirmed Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO.
Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021. More details soon”, the
global trade body said in a short tweet Monday afternoon.
The Nigerian was also the only remaining candidate for the troubled organization with the recent withdrawal of the South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung Hee, her main rival just as Okonjo-Iweala prevailed over several other candidates in the months-long WTO leadership race.
She is set to succeed the Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who left the WTO before the end of his term last August, and has since joined United States beverage giant, Pepsico as an Executive.
The troubled WTO is no longer able to settle trade disputes between countries as the United States has blocked the appointment of Appeals Judges.
Former US President Donald Trump’s administration sought reforms of the WTO, without clearly spelling out its demands.
In addition, free trade talks have been stalled for years, and the WTO now also faces a global economic crisis.