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Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala becomes first African to head the WTO

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Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been voted as the new head of the World Trade Organization.

She secured 104 out of 164 votes to become the first African to head the World Trade Organization.

Member countries in the European Union and ECOWAS all endorsed her candidacy.

Okonjo-Iweala who was the only African left in the race beat South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee for the top role.

An official announcement is expected to be made later on Wednesday.

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The US opposed her selection and prefered South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

The global trade organization now has its first female director general in its 25-year history.

Okonjo-Iweala will succeed Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who unexpectedly left the WTO at the end of August, a year early.

Okonjo-Iweala previously served as Nigeria’s finance minister on two occasions and once as a foreign affairs minister.

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She also served as former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairperson at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.


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