Baring any last minutes glitches, the two time finance minister and first woman coordinating minister of economy in the Africa most populous country Nigeria is set to be announced as the substantive head of the famous world trade organization (WTO).
Late August after the head of the World Trade Organization stepped down, most member countries overwhelmingly rallied behind a successor: 163 nations backed the Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was also a former World Bank number 2 to chair the organisation, however, such move was vehemently resisted by the past United States administration of Mr. Donald Trump.
Electing her would be “a mistake,” the Trump administration’s chief trade negotiator said, citing a lack of trade experience as the reason for resistance of her candidacy.
Mrs Iweala however stayed calm and a lot have changed within a short period of time and she is now about to be named the first woman to head this global trade empire in its 25 years history.
Who is Ngozi Okonjo Iweala? What you should know.
Dr. Ngozi Iweala is a development economist and former and twice Finance Minister of Nigeria the role that was expanded to include the portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy. In 2006 she served as Foreign Affairs Minister. She has been the Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, since 1 January 2016.
She has also held several key positions at the World Bank, including as Managing Director. She is currently a senior adviser at Lazard and serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Global Development, among others. She is also the chair of African Risk Capacity, a specialised agency of the African Union to help member states prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters. She sits at the board of Twitter.
She was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 greatest world leaders in 2015, and by Forbes for five consecutive years as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In 2014, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was recognised by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
She graduated with a degree in Economics from Harvard University, and holds a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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