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(Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images for TIME)

ROME, ITALY - DECEMBER 02: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair, Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, speaks at the Fortune + Time Global Forum 2016 on December 2, 2016 in Rome, Italy.

History in Motion as First African Woman Set to Head the WTO

Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the first African woman ever to be at the helm of the World Trade Organisation in it's entire 25-year history.

Nigeria's Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is reportedly set to become the head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This comes after South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, who was also a finalist for the top WTO position, announced that she planned to withdraw from the race this past Friday. Hence, as the only remaining finalist, and with the recently-elected Biden-Harris administration having endorsed her candidacy, Okonjo-Iweala, will become both the first African and first woman to ever helm the WTO in its 25-year history.

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In September of last year, Kenyan Sports, Culture and Heritage Minister, Amina Chawahir Mohamed, and Okonjo-Iweala were selected as the top candidates for the director-general position for the WTO. They were the only two African women in the running at the time. Okonjo-Iweala's candidacy, however, had been blocked by the former Trump administration, according to The New York Times.

According to a press statement by the office of the US trade representative, "Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy. She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organisation with a diverse membership." European Central Bank President, Christine Lagarde, also responded to Okonjo-Iweala's historic appointment in a recent interview saying, "[Okonjo-Iweala] is this wonderful, soft, very gentle woman with an authentic approach to problems but, boy, under that soft glove there is a hard hand and a strong will behind it."

Okonjo-Iweala is certainly an excellent pick for the top post having already served twice as Nigeria's Finance Minister, having been a development economist at the World Bank for 25 years and the current chairperson of the board for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Her appointment will follow that of Brazil's Roberto Azevêdo who resigned last year citing personal reasons and subsequently left the organisation without a successor.

Photo courtesy of Kunjina

Spotlight: Ethiopian Brand Kunjina Is On a Fashion Metamorphosis

Founder and creative director Kunjina Tesfaye speaks on her namesake brand, and how her personal evolution manifests through the unique garments.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists, and more who are producing vibrant, original work.

In our latest piece, we spotlight Ethiopian fashion brand, Kunjina. The Addis Ababa based label focuses on ready-to-wear fashion and empowering woman through their garments and designs. Creator Kunjina Tesfaye established the brand in 2017 in her home country Ethiopia, and has since shared her distinctive designs with the world. Each garment acts as a physical embodiment of Kunjina's life experiences, and the stages we all go through to become closer to ourselves. "When the work comes from a personal place, it portrays a true feeling therefore the output becomes Authentic", the young designer says on the website. Each garment is carefully and intentionally created, as the company prides themselves on their choice to reduce unnecessary waste -- often times what happens with brands focused on trends.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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