WTO: Nigerian scholar, Okonjo-Iweala makes final list of 5 candidates for top job

By Tunde Olorungbotemi

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been named among the final five candidates who will proceed for the next stage of the race for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) job.

Okonjo-Iweala is vying for the position of the director-general of the WTO.

The general council of the WTO in a statement on Friday, 18 announced that Okonjo-Iweala was listed among the candidates that advanced to the next stage of the process.

David Walker of New Zealand who chairs the general council and his two co-facilitators disclosed that three out of the eight candidates were dropped, while five made it to the next stage.

According to the council, the five candidates who that advanced to the next stage are:

1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria

2. Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea

3. Amina C. Mohamed of Kenya

4. Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

5. Liam Fox of the United Kingdom

The WTO disclosed that the second phase of consultations would begin on September 24 and run until October 6 after which the organization would announce two final candidates.

The goal was to name a new leader by November 7.

The chairperson of the general council expressed his gratitude to all the candidates, including those who did not advance further.

“Their expertise and high professional and personal qualities are highly valued and respected by all members," he said.

Meanwhile, Aliko Dangote, one of Africa's richest business mogul, has put out his voice in support of former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the best candidate to emerges as director-general of the World Trade Organization.

Dangote believes that the WTO needs a professional with proven international records like Okonjo-Iweala at its hem of affairs.

The Nigerian tycoon endorsed the former minister for the envied position on his verified Twitter page on Tuesday, September 1.

In another report, it seems Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is getting a lot of local and international support. for the World Trade Organisation job.

In fact, a former prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Gordon Brown, has lent his support to Okonjo-Iweala, arguing that she is the just the right person for the job, The Times reported.

Brown argued that the former minister has produced positive results even in the toughest of jobs across the world and is, therefore, for fit for the much-contested position.

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