THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL POST: WTO Retains Okonjo-Iweala Among Top 5 Candidates

Ahead of the second round of consultations which will run from September 24- October 6, the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) has dropped three candidates vying for the position of the Director-General. The organization also plans to minimize the list to two final candidates in the next few weeks.

   Part of those dropped are Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt), Jesus Seade (Mexico) and Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova). In a statement made by the WTO General Council Chairman, David Walker, he regarded the three candidates that were dropped as highly professional individuals, with quality values. 

   Nigeria’s former finance minister and former Managing Director of the World Bank, Mrs Ngonzi Okonjo-Iweala, was retained as part of the last five candidates. Other remaining four candidates include Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s former minister of economy and planning; Yoo Myung-hoo, South Korea’s minister of trade; Amina Chuwahir M.J, Kenya’s former minister of international trade; and Liam Fox, UK’s former secretary of State for international trade.

   Among the characteristics to select a DG for the WTO, he/she must be a former or current minister in trade, finance or economics. Hopefully, just like Dr Akinwumi Adesina got re-elected for the second term as the President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB); Okonjo-Iweala might give Nigerians another good cause for global recognition.