Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Becomes the First Black Woman to Lead WTO

in Afghan Business

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Becomes the First Black Woman to Lead WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is appointed to lead the World Trade Organization, making her the first women and the first African to occupy the position.

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister. She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership,” said the US Trade Representative in a statement.

The Harvard-educated development economist had previously served in the World Bank for 25 years and two times as Nigeria’s finance minister.

She’s led several initiatives to assist low-income countries. She helped Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign debt rating by obtaining a $18 billion debt right-off in 2005.

She de-linked the national budget from the oil price to allow the country to save money in a special account when oil prices were high.

Okonjo-Iweala proudly wears her traditional Nigerian attire to work.

In an interview with BBC in 2012 she had said she adopted “such attire as a working mother of four to do the school run, an easy answer for a smart look – and a thrifty one at that, given she estimated each outfit cost around $25”

Her crackdown on corruption in the fuel sector of Nigeria came at a high personal cost.

Her mother, Kamene Okonjo – a medical doctor and retired professor of sociology – was kidnapped from her home in southern Nigeria in 2012, aged 82.

The kidnappers had first demanded her resignation and then a ransom, both of which Okonjo-Iweala refused.

Her mother was released within five days in unclear circumstances.



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