The aspiration of Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a former World Bank Chief to bag the World Trade Organization’s Director-General position is gathering momentum if recent happenings are anything to go by.
Former Prime Minister of Britain, Gordon Brown became the latest high profile figure to back Okonjo-Iweala’s ambition.
Brown described Okonjo-Iweala as respected across the “whole of the world”, having a record of delivering results in “the toughest of jobs” and would make an “outstanding success” of running the Swiss-based regulator, which is facing an existential crisis.
This high profile endorsement is significant because by this, Brown, a former Labor leader and chancellor, has passed over Liam Fox, the former Conservative trade secretary, whom Britain has nominated in the contest.
This is also coming shortly after Patrick Lumumba, a Kenyan lawyer who served as the director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, disclosed that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate Africa should back for the World Trade Organisation top job.
It is worthy of note that Lumumba is from the same country as Amina Mohamed, who is also contesting for the job. He described Okonjo-Iweala as the better candidate — based on credentials.
“Right now, there is the WTO; Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate we should back, given her credentials. Now, a Kenyan candidate has emerged, an Egyptian candidate has emerged — we are going to be manipulated and none of the Africans is going to get it” he said.
Recall that Former World Bank Chief, Okonjo-Iweala has repeatedly reiterated that her forthright credentials, skill-sets, and hands-on expertise are what the World Trade Organization (WTO) needs now for proper repositioning and to navigate its way through the pandemic crisis.
“I am the best woman for the job,” Okonjo-Iweala had thundered.
Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO is a critical global organization that needs to be reformed in key areas such as dispute resolution, adding that its effectiveness will be enhanced if it becomes more inclusive by supporting women, Micro Small Medium Enterprises, MSMEs among others.