First African WTO head an iconic appointment


World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) THE first female and first African leader of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a significant moment, coming at a difficult time for multilateralism.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian, has been appointed to the position of Director-General of this organisation that is concerned with the regulation of trade between nations.

The Mo Ibrahim foundation stated that against the backdrop of the COVID-19, which is a tumultuous period for global trade and increasing nationalist tendencies, the WTO faced significant challenges.

“Our sister Ngozi will fill this critical role with experience, wisdom and determination – steering an inclusive global trade agenda that is the only way to lift millions out of poverty and bring shared prosperity to the world,” the foundation stated.

“A close friend of our foundation from its very beginning, and member of the inaugural Prize Committee, the new Director-General of the WTO can rely on our full and committed support.”

The foundation is hopeful WTO would temporarily waive the specific Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

It believes this would provide the knowledge to manufacture vaccines in Africa, a key step in enabling access to vaccines urgently.

“This is the only way to ensure a global, coordinated effort to contain COVID-19. If there is one emergency we must address, this is it.”

– CAJ News


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