The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed a former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
President of ECOWAS, Mahamadou Issoufou, stated this in a document dated June 19.
The group called on other African countries to back Mrs Okonjo-Iweala.
Issoufou said the ECOWAS “having acknowledged the strong academic and professional background of Dr. Okonjo-lweala and her very large experience in national affairs as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) 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 Covid19;
“Endorses the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-lweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization for the period 2021-2025, and calls on other African countries as well as non-African countries to endorse her candidature.”
The Republic of Benin had earlier withdrawn its candidate from the race and pledged support for Okonjo-Iweala.
According to the WTO, Okonjo-Iweala is still eligible to run for the position.