WTO: Okonjo-Iweala assures more industrialisation in Africa and Nigeria

NEWSMAN, AbujaSpokesperson for Nigeria’s World Trade Organization’s candidate, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has revealed that his principal will ensure more industrialisation in Africa and Nigeria if appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

The spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu in an interview said “Her emergence in so many ways will be excellent news for Africa and also for the global south which we belong to.”

“For a long time, third world countries and developing nations have consistently complained that the rules of global trade don’t favour them. Having one of our own up there means at the very list that there will greater attention to the issues that concern us,” Nwabuikwu said.

WTO had earlier announced that Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea advanced to the final round of consultations which will determine the next WTO DG, and by advancing two women to the final round of the selection process, the WTO is set to have the first female director-general in its 25-year history.

Finalists for the next WTO DG, Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea

Nwabuikwu said Okonjo-Iweala has made tremendous progress in the WTO DG race, noting that the chance of her becoming the next boss of the global trade organisation is “50/50”.

 “She started out as Nigeria’s candidate and then she became the West African candidate and from there she became the African candidate. It is very significant that the European Union backed the candidacy of Dr Okonjo-Iweala even over the former British Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox. It gives an idea of how much progress she has made and I think it is something to be happy about,” he said.

“The prospect is 50/50 because we have two people left but I suspect that it is even better than that because she got the very support of the European Union. Having got to this point, she has a very good chance of emerging the DG of the World Trade Organisation. But it is not over until it is over,” he added.

Nwabuikwu further assured that WTO under Oknjo-Iweala’s leadership “will take a look at certain fundamentals and Africa will be encouraged to produce more and also to process more of what it produces. He added that Dr Okonjo-Iweala is very passionate about Africa and the global south, PUNCH reported.

The spokesperson, however, noted that Okonjo-Iweala would push the interests of all race and colours when appointed.

“The WTO is fundamentally about encouraging open trade, it is about the multilateral system, it is about agreements, it is about negotiation and conflict resolution. There are specific tools for ensuring that countries like Nigeria and continents like Africa are not left out,” Nwabuikwu added.

Recall that president Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday assured Okonjo-Iweala, that he would do all within his power to ensure that she became the first woman and first African DG of the global trade organisation.

“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,” Buhari said.

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