WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt

Wednesday, June 10,2020

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has acknowledged the nomination of Nigeria’s former Finance Minister and former Managing Director of World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, as one of the candidates for the position of the Director-General of the organization.

The WTO has opened nominations for a successful candidate that will succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azevedo, who will be stepping down on August 31, 2020, one year ahead of time.

This was seen in the tweet post of the World Trade Organization on their official Twitter handle on Tuesday evening June 9, 2020.

The tweet post from WTO states, “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Board of Gavi and Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, has been nominated by Nigeria as a candidate for the post of WTO Director-General.”

Nairametrics had earlier reported the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala by President Muhammadu Buhari and the subsequent protest against it by Egypt on grounds that the period of nominations had elapsed.

Egypt claimed that the African Union executive had set November 30, 2019 as the deadline for submission of nominees for African countries, therefore, Nigeria’s nomination violated that.

However, the WTO has come out to say that the nomination process actually opened on June 8, 2020 and ends on July 8, contrary to the allusion from Egypt.

The statement from WTO says, “The nomination period ends on 8 July. Learn more about the process to select the next Director-General of WTO.”

The WTO says that after the nomination period is closed, the candidates will be invited to meet with members at a special general council meeting, present their views and take questions from the membership.

Other nominees for the post so far, include Mr. Jesús Seade Kuri of Mexico, and Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a world-renowned economist and international development expert, currently sits on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance.




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