King Mohammed VI Congratulates Nigeria’s Okonjo-iweala

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Rabat – King Mohammed VI has extended his congratulations to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala after her appointment as Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The King sent a congratulatory message to Okonjo-Iweala after she became the first woman and the first African to lead the organization. In the message, King Mohammed VI warmly congratulated the Nigerian economist for earning the undivided confidence of WTO member countries. The King said the organization’s trust in Okonjo-Iweala is an acknowledgement of her proven managerial skills and her high professionalism in the various senior positions she has held both on the world stage and in Nigeria. In the congratulatory message, the King wished Okonjo-Iweala success as she and the WTO embark on a particularly challenging mission in the wake of the global pandemic and associated crises. The Moroccan monarch also said he is convinced that Okonjo-Iweala’s “recognized expertise and professional competence” will give a “strong impetus to the actions of the WTO and contribute to the achievement of objectives.” In his message, the King also reiterated Morocco’s commitment to the WTO. He said the North African country will continue supporting the organization’s programs to weather the COVID-19 winds and achieve fair trade and sustainable development in the world and in Africa. New WTO leader in brief Okonjo-Iweala, a well-respected Nigerian economist, made it to the WTO’s highest office after securing the votes of all 164 representatives of the member countries. President of the US Joe Biden also promoted her bid. This is not the first time the 66-year-old woman from Nigeria has smashed the glass ceiling to become the “first woman” in a senior leadership position.. Nigeria appointed her as the first woman to serve as both the country’s finance minister in 2003 and foreign affairs minister in 2006. She was also the first woman to run for the presidency of the World Bank, where she spent nearly a quarter of a century in other leadership positions. The new WTO chief holds a degree from Harvard University, where she graduated in 1976. She also holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After her confirmation as WTO chief, the African woman leader vowed to strengthen the WTO and its efforts to put global trade back on track. “My vision is also of a rejuvenated and strengthened WTO that will be confident to tackle effectively ongoing issues,” she said. During a hearing in July 2020, she told WTO members: “It is clear that a rules-based system without a forum in which a breach of the rules can be effectively arbitrated loses credibility over time.”

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