17 Feb My performance in WTO will open doors of opportunity for Africans, women – Okonjo-Iweala
17 Feb 2021
The new Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Wednesday her performance in office would open doors for more Africans, particularly women to lead international organizations in the future.
The WTO General Council confirmed the Nigerian ex-finance minister’s appointment as head of the 164-member organization earlier in the week.
She succeeds Brazilian diplomat, Roberto Avezedo, who left the post in August last year.
Okonjo-Iweala, who will assume office on March 1, will complete her tenure on August 31, 2025.
The ex-World Bank managing director featured in a programme on Arise Television and declared that she is proudly African.
She said: “I am proud for Africa, I am proud to be Nigerian and I am proud for women but the bottom line is capability to do the job and to deliver so that after me, there will be women, there will be other Africans, that is the whole point.
“Multilateral economic organisations need to have women. I have actually just published a book with the former Prime Minister of Australia about leadership talking about the fact that there is a dearth of women at the top even though a lot of progress has been made but it is too slow. This is an opportunity to have a woman leading a multilateral organisation.
“Opening this door as I did when I became finance minister, when I was given the opportunity to serve my country by ex Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, I focused on trying to deliver and worked round the clock because I recognised that if I could do a good job, people will no longer have inhibitions about giving women the job and that was a very big objective for me and it worked.
“Since I had the job, there have been three other women who have been nominated. In fact, it is becoming a norm to put a woman as finance minister and that is the impact I wanted to make.”