Former Nigerian Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean Commerce Minister Yoo Myung-hee.

WTO: Why the United States rejected Nigerian candidate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Nigerians continue to be optimistic that former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African woman to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), despite US opposition support.

WASHINGTON, DC – The campaign to replace Roberto Azevedo, a Brazilian, took on a new dimension on Wednesday, after the United States rejected Nigerian candidate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Ngozi, 66, has the backing of many WTO members, but this week the United States backed Ngozi’s rival, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, whom the United States says is and strategies and expertise in the field of global business.

Nevertheless, Nigerians continue to show support for Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister.

According to economist Ken Ken Ife, despite US opposition to Ngozi, this will not affect the final decision.

“It’s not like the election of the presidents of the World Bank and the World Bank is a loan, and the United States has a strong voice in the election of their leaders. The United States itself has only one vote. ” “US President Donald Trump has spoken but the rest of the world has come forward.”


But a lack of US votes could delay the results for weeks or more.

If elected Ngozi as WTO President, she will be the first African woman to head the World Trade Organization.

Many Africans believe that if she becomes president, she will be fully represented in the commission.

Eze Onyekpere, an economist, said once an African woman heads the commission, Nigeria and African countries will no doubt understand international trade and the opportunities available.

South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee
South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee

“If one of us is in Turin, it will remind us of the fact that we have to do half the time to get the right information and at the right time so that we can take advantage of the opportunities available.” According to Onyekpere

However, some critics say Okonjo-Iweala lacks the expertise to handle business matters. Onyekpere, however, disagreed.

“The nature of women is that they want to pursue things through compromise, they know how to negotiate and create solutions. Therefore, if there is to be a peaceful trade relationship all over the world.” He added.

Former Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Former Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Professor Ken Ife, who did not say whether he would run for president, faces challenges, including the slowdown in trade as a result of the US-China conflict.

“They are the two largest economies in the world, and what happens between them is a 20 percent or 25 percent tax rate,” he said. One of the major grievances of the US President over the WTO is that the WTO is dragging its feet in resolving the crisis. They have been complaining about trade violations for years and China has ignored them, “said Professor Ife.

The demand for a replacement for the WTO chief arose after Azevedo resigned a year before his term expired.

On November 9, the Geneva-based group will meet to discuss the election of a new chairman.

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