Okonjo-Iweala Says WTO Not ‘Business as Usual’

By Chuks Emele

Former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,  who was inaugurated earlier Tueday as the director-general of the World Trade Organization, has pledged to bring about significant changes to the body that sets the rules for global trade.

She’s the first woman and the first African to lead in the 73-year existence of the organization that was initially called the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.

“But now the real work begins,” Okonjo-Iweala said on Twitter. She declared her readiness to “to tackle the challenges of WTO,” adding:. “Forget Business as usual!”

Okonjo-Iweala emerged the frontrunner to take over at the Geneva-based organization late last year after winning the support of key regions and countries including the European Union, the African Union, China, Japan and most of Asia and Latin America. But her inauguration was delayed by the opposition of the U.S. administration of former President Donald Trump. 

With Trump’s election defeat, the U.S. President Joe Biden, was quick to endorse Okonjo-Iweala,  thus paving the way for to ascend to the top job.