Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Heads of State and Governments of the 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have endorsed the candidature of Nigeria’s two-term former minister and erstwhile Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
This was contained in a statement signed by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, on behalf of the Heads of State and Government.
Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, had been nominated for the top job by the President Muhammadu Buhari .
The leaders of the regional bloc “acknowledged the strong academic and professional background of Dr Okonjo-Iweala and her very large experience in national affairs as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister briefly in 2006”.
They said their endorsement of Okonjo-Iweala’s candidature is conditioned on her academic and over 30 years of experience as a Development Economist.
The leaders also called on other African and non-African States to support the former minister.
Nominations for the job are expected to close on July 8 following which candidates will be invited to meet with WTO Council members at a special General Council meeting.
The successful candidate will succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced that he will step down on August 31.