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An African Woman is Now the Head of WTO

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was confirmed as director-general of the World Trade Organization on Monday, becoming the first woman and the first African to lead the global trade body. An economist and former finance minister of Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala enjoyed broad support from WTO members including the European Union, China, Japan and Australia. The United States, under the Trump administration, had favored Yoo. The WTO was established in 1995 with the aim of promoting open trade for the benefit of all. It negotiates and administers rules for international trade and tries to resolve disputes among its 164 members. Okonjo-Iweala spent 25 years at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the position of managing director. She also chaired the board of Gavi, which is helping to distribute coronavirus vaccines globally, stepping down at the end of her term in December. In response to concerns that rich countries are not doing enough to share vaccines, Okonjo-Iweala said that the WTO needs “rules that will allow access and equity for vaccines, and therapeutics and diagnostics.” Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment has been hailed as a significant achievement by people in her native Nigeria and an #ankaraarmy — referring to the distinctive African print she wears — has already formed online. One user tweeted: “Hillary [Clinton] had a pant suit army. We are going to create an #AnkaraArmy for NOI! Get ready, the date is February 15th…”

SOURCE: CNN

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