First Woman and First African chosen to Head WTO

In a historic move, the World Trade Organization has chosen the first woman and first African to lead the organization. Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was named director-general of the WTO Monday by representatives of the 164 countries that make up the organization, which deals with the rules of trade between nations based on negotiated agreements.

Okonjo-Iweala said during an online news conference Monday that she was eager to begin the work of reforming the organization and modernizing the rules to bring them up to 21st century issues. She said during an online news conference that she was taking over at a time when the WTO was “facing so many challenges”.The global trade body called a virtual special general council meeting at which member states officially selected the former Nigerian finance minister and World Bank veteran as its new director-general. The near-paralysed institution desperately needs a reboot — something Okonjo-Iweala immediately addressed after her coronation. Okonjo-Iweala will take up her post on March 1 and her term, which is renewable, will run until August 31, 2025.