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Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala First Woman Elected Director-General Of World Trade Organization

Posted: February 16, 2021

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Breaking many stereotypes about women, money, and leadership, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria has been elected the first woman Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Stereotypical myths about gender roles and accomplishments abound in our patriarchal, ‘men’s world’, as if women were never intended to walk shoulder to shoulder with men on the face of the Earth. hence, the most joyous event for a woman is to debunk and bust these stereotypical women-centric myths, and create her-story.

One such proud moment is now, and has been created by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of Nigeria, Africa.

Who is Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala?

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been announced as the first woman and the first African to head the World Trade Organization (WTO).

WTO members elected her by consensus to be the next director-general of the organization. Before she got elected to lead the intergovernmental organization, she has served as Nigeria’s finance minister and also as their minister of foreign affairs, a senior World Bank official, and as chairperson of GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation board. She has headed the Nigerian financial ministry at a critical moment and helped reform the economy. Her term, renewable, will commence on the 1st of March 2021 and will expire on 31 August 2025.

She is the first woman and the first African in the organization’s 25-year history to have achieved this. In fact, The United Nations itself — since its commencement in 1945 — has never had a woman in the number one place.

Dr. Ngozi is a skilled economist and an international development expert; she has an economics degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why is this appointment so crucial?

The process for appointing a new Director-General was triggered last year when the former Director-General Mr. Roberto Azevêdo notified WTO members that he would be stepping down from his office one year before his tenure was cataloged to expire. He consequently resigned from the post on 31 August 2020. Trade is crucial for prosperity. Trade is essential for resilience. Trade is vital for sustainable growth. However, due to the prevailing prejudice, women were never acknowledged to be competent enough to lead their own financial decision, let alone of the country, and to lead a world financial organization was always rated out of question.

https://twitter.com/minaewah/status/1361587991723008002

“Choosing the WTO Director General should be on merit. If that person happens to be a woman, great. If she happens to be an African, great. I hope it’s a sign not only to women and girls in my country, but to women and girls worldwide that the world is ready and women can do it”, quoted Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Empowered women are powerful beyond measure. A woman definitely can create a difference and obstruct the status quo. Like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, many women who have been the ‘first’ in their various domains of aspirations once again authenticate to the world, whatever our mind can conceive and believe, we can achieve.

Image source: Twitter

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