Nigeria’s Former Minister Of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has advanced to the final round in the race to be the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s first female Minister For Trade Yoo Myung-Hee are the last two candidates for standing in the race to become the DG of the Geneva-based trade body of the semi-final list of 5 candidates.
An initial pool of eight candidates was selected to replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as the WTO DG in August – a year ahead of schedule, the pool of 8 was pruned down to five last month and now two.
The three candidates eliminated in this round of “confessionals” were Liam Fox of Britain, Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri of Saudi Arabia, and Amina Mohamed of Kenya.
Member states in confidential voice express their preferences, Jesus Saede Kuri of Mexico, Tudor Ulianovschi of Moldova and Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt were cut during the first round.
The WTO will likely have the first female director-general in its 25-year history as no woman has ever headed the global trade body.
A third and final round of consultations will begin later this month and is scheduled to run until November 6, when the WTO aims to agree by consensus on the next director-general.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two.
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