Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala voiced confidence Friday in her quest to lead the crisis-wracked World Trade Organization after all of Africa backed her candidacy, vowing she would champion reform.
“I feel the wind behind my back,” she told a virtual press briefing after the 55-member African Union officially supported her over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
The global trade body is set to be led by a woman for the first time whichever of the two candidates is successful in their bid to follow Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director-general in August a year ahead of schedule.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, who served as her country’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank, said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader.
“If that person is African and a woman, I think that is great. Because… neither an African nor a woman has led the organisation,” she said.