Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as one of the two candidates that advanced to the final round in the race to lead the global trade body, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), according to reports from Bloomberg. The other candidate is South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.
Whoever emerges the director-general of the organisation would be making history as the first female to head the global trade body in its 25 years history.
The two women on the final list are loaded with intimidating credentials.
Okonjo-Iweala served two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister. She has experience working at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. He also sits on the board of Twitter and Standard Chartered Bank.
Yoo is South Korea’s trade minister. During her 25-year career in government, she has helped expand her country’s trade network through bilateral accords with the U.S., China and the U.K.
The United Kingdom’s Liam Fox, Kenya’s Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri did not secure enough support in the second round of consultations, according to people familiar with the matter.
The third and final phase of the consultation process will begin later this month and run until Nov. 6, after which the WTO will endeavor to name a consensus winner of the race.
There is a little, but fundamental snag that might slow down the selection process. Since the WTO’s decisions are based on consensus, a lack of American support for either of the two candidates could delay the emergence of a new DG, given president Donald Trumps position on the relevance of the organisation to America’s interests.
Okonjo-Iweala has a dual citizenship, Nigeria and the United States of Smerica.