The newly selected seventh Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria has assumed duty at the global trade body today, Monday, March 1, 2021.
She becomes the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General of WTO; and her term of office will expire on August 31, 2025.
Before her assumption of office, the Deputy Director General of WTO, Alan Wolff has called on members to work with new Director-General to reform the body.
Speaking to Heads of WTO Member Delegations on 25 February 25, 2021, Deputy D-G Wolff urged them to build on their warm welcome for the incoming Director-General (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) by working with her to deliver much-needed reforms to the WTO.
“Enthusiasm, optimism and hope need to be translated into concrete action” to enhance global trade’s contribution to a more effective pandemic response as well as a strong and sustainable economic recovery,” he said.
According to him: “Delivering negotiated agreements would be essential to repair the WTO’s reputation”.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, is a Global Finance expert, an Economist and International Development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.
Before her current post, Okonjo-Iweala is Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has immunized 760 million children globally and saved thirteen million lives. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc.
She was recently appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.