The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala, former coordinating minister for the economy, for the top WTO job on June 4.
In an endorsement statement, Mahamadou Issoufou, ECOWAS president, said the commission was endorsing Okonjo-Iweala’s candidature after acknowledging her academic and managerial background.
The statement reads, “HAVING ACKNOWLEDGED the strong academic and professional background of Dr. Okonjo Iweala and her very large experience in national affairs as Nigena’s Finance Minister 20032006 and 20112015 and Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister briefly in 2006;
“HAVING FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGED her long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, her established reputation as a fearless reformer, her excellent negotiating and political skills, her experience of over 30 years as a Development Economist with a long standing interest in trade, her excellent academic qualifications, her positions as Managing Director World Bank, and currently as Board Chair Gavi and African Union Special Envoy to Mobilize Financial Resources for the fight against COVID-19;
“ENDORSES the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-iweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization for the period 2021-2025.
ECOWAS called on other African countries as well as non-African countries to endorse her candidature, adding that since the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 1 January 1995 no African has assumed the position of Director-General of the Organisation.