Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed a former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by its spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, said Okonjo-Iweala was endorsed by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for her long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, including other feats.
Nwonye also said the ECOWAS leaders took note that since the creation of the WTO on January 1, 1995, no African had ever ascended the position.
‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government has endorsed the candidature of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), for the period 2021-2025.
‘The apex body noted that since the creation of the WTO on 1 January 1995, which is a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established on 1 January 1948, no African has assumed the position of Director-General of the Organization.
‘The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government endorsed the candidate of Nigeria noting “Her long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, her established a reputation as a fearless reformer, her excellent negotiating and political skills, her experience of over 30 years as a development economist with a long-standing interest in trade, her excellent academic qualifications, her positions as managing director of the World Bank, and currently, as Board Chair, Gavi, and AU Special Envoy to Mobilize Financial Resources for the fight against COVID-19.’
Nwonye further said the ECOWAS leaders also called on other African countries, as well as non-African countries, to endorse the candidature of Okonjo-Iweala.