Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, first woman Director General of WTO


Nigeria’s Development Economist and former Finance Minister Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will be serving the position of World Trade Organization’s Director General and with this appointment she will be the first woman and the first African to ever hold this global body. Okonjo-Iweala served twice as the Finance Minister of Nigeria and also as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was the first female to hold both the positions. She had a 25-year career in World Bank and had risen to the second highest position of a Managing Director. She is well-known for the women and youth empowerment through the “Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Programme” (GWIN) and for her support to the entrepreneurs and in creating new job opportunities through “Youth Enterprise with Innovation Programme” (YouWIN).

Her determination, perseverance and independent nature helped her personal and professional life and her career is so much more impressive given how little respect women are shown in Nigeria. As per Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, women tend to be more honest, straight-forward and focused on the job and bring less ego to it and she believes that the new position brings her more opportunity to facilitate greater participation of women in international trade and support women owned enterprises to get them included in the formal sector.

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