Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s ex-finance minister and nominee for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, has emerged winner of the highly competitive race. The former minister polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat her South Korea’s trade minister opponent, at the final stage of the race
She has broken many records, including becoming the first African to occupy win that office at the WTO.
Since her emergence has been announced, there are qustions as to what capacity she intends to serve and how it will benefit Nigerians
The World Trade Organization (WTO) serves two principal functions. First, it provides a set of multilaterally agreed rules governing policies affecting both trade in goods and services, and the protection of intellectual property.
Second, the WTO provides a forum for administering the rules, settling trade disputes, and pursuing negotiations to reduce trade barriers, and to strengthen and extend the multilateral rules.
Two groups of specialists are, in turn, involved in carrying out the second of these two functions – the member countries, or, more specifically, their representatives in Geneva, plus support staff in capitals and the WTO Secretariat headed by the Director-General (DG).