Who will emerge as the next DG of the WTO? Okonjo or Myung-hee?

On October 7, 2020, the World Trade Organization announced that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee had advanced to the final round in the race to be its director-general, setting the stage for the first woman to lead the 25-year-old organization

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian-born economist and international development expert. She sits on the Boards of several leading organisations.

Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011). She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015) under the leadership of President Obasanjo and President Jonathan respectively.

In June 2020, President Buhari nominated Okonjo-Iweala as the country’s candidate to be the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She later advanced to the final round. She thanked President Buhari and all Nigerians for their support for being in the final round of the candidacy.

Most observers believe that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister, is the strong favorite to win the leadership race. If elected, she would be the first African to run the WTO. The Financial Times called her “a well-known policymaker, having negotiated a large sovereign debt write-down and battled corruption as Nigeria’s finance minister, and served as a managing director at the World Bank”.

Yoo Myung-hee is the current Minister for Trade of South Korea. She is the first woman to hold the position.

Yoo is considered a veteran in Korean trade circles. Over the past 25 years, Yoo has worked in various government agencies since she passed the Korean state civil servant exam in 1991.

In June 2020, the Republic of Korea officially nominated Yoo as the country’s candidate for the Director-General of the World Trade Organization and Yoo officially declared her bid to run for the election.

Credit; VMCforgirls Instagram Page

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