Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, has made the cut for the last voting round for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mrs Iweala will come head to head with South Korea’s trade chief, Yoo Myung-hee, also a female, in an epoch-making final that will choose for the first time a woman head in the twenty five-year old Geneva based institution.
The grand finale will equally make a milestone on racial terms in the sense it is bound to produce either the first African director-general of the WTO or its first South-Korean head should the electoral victory swing in the way of Iweala or Myung-hee in early November.
Interestingly, both women rode on the back of 27-member European Union to come this far.
Okonjo Iweala, whose twenty five-year old career at the World Bank found culmination in the number two position as the managing director of operations between 2007 and 2011, won notability in national service when she negotiated a $30 billion debt pardon with the Paris club for Nigeria in 2005.
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She has held prominent roles variously at the International Monetary Fund monetary and finance committee, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank international advisory panel, International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, African Development Bank and a couple of other international organisation.
She will seek to outmuscle her South Korean rival, who even though has less intimidating credentials, is reputable a consummate negotiator known for delivering deals with the United States, China and others for her country.
Myung-hee’s broad experience as a trade expert also gives her an edge over her Nigerian co-contestant.
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