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16 Feb


Former Nigerian Minister of Finance and economist, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been confirmed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, making her the first African and woman to hold the position.

Okonjo-Iweala was appointed by the global trade body after the last-standing rival candidate, South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew from the race. Under the Trump administration, the United States had reportedly favoured Yoo for the position, but the succeeding Biden administration made several changes in Foreign Policy ??? among them a mandate to give “strong support” to the new Director-General.

This huge success garnered even bigger attention on social media, with everyone, from world leaders to admirers around the globe, sharing posts of congratulations. But one of them stands out amongst the rest – the #BeLikeNgoziChallenge. Young girls and women from all over the world are sharing photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram dressed like the 66-year-old and even attempting to mimic her demeanour, in celebration of her win.

Okonjo-Iweala is set to take up her new post on March 1, initially for a term that runs until August 2025. Her main goals include stability among WTO member states, most notably the United States and China, and increasing global efforts to combat COVID-19. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, she said, “It feels exciting and it feels daunting at the same time. I look forward to the challenge. […] Deep reforms are needed to rebrand and reposition the organisation.”

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Kunmi Odueke
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