Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, has emerged the first African and the first female to attain the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
She became the finalist after eliminating South Korea’s current Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee in a fierce battle for the coveted job on Monday night according to NewsDirect.
Reports say that influential nations within the global power bloc had a rigorous time to working in Nigeria’s favour with high-level negotiations even as China reportedly tilted the dynamics.
The New Diplomat Europe’s outpost office gathered that with the EU nations and the United States moving in the opposite direction, a move that triggered a deadlock between the two powerful geopolitical allies for the first time in many years, it was the decisive and quiet support of China that finally tipped the scales in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour.
A top diplomat in Geneva told The New Diplomat in confidence: “China quietly changed the game. They said nothing openly but silently they, deftly China voted in Nigeria’s favour.”
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria’s first female finance and later foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist and international finance expert at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two. She is also on Twitter’s board of directors and is a special envoy for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 fight.
Thus, Okonjo-Iweala has successfully edged out South Korea’s Myung-hee. Yoo Myung-hee 53, is the serving South Korea’s trade minister, following a long career in trade, diplomacy, law and foreign affairs. She had previously served as South Korea’s foreign Affairs minister, among others.
A lawyer and diplomat, Myung-hee holds degrees in Law, Public Policy and was called to the New York Bar.