Popular
(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.

READ: President Joe Biden Ends Trump's Muslim Travel Ban

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.

Music

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, BLK JKS, Tkay Maidza, Ayra Starr and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Listen to Djembe Monks' New House Single 'Nhliziyo Yam' Featuring Thandy Dhlana

Zimbabwean afro-house collective Djembe Monks' latest single, featuring Thandy Dhlana, is a soothing tribal house dance track (perfect for the heartbroken).