Nigerian group asks Biden to back Okonjo-Iweala

A group in Nigeria, West Africa, Abia Professionals, has appealed to the President-elect of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to support the election of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

The Convener of the group, Sonny Iroche, in a statement on Monday, said this would endear Biden to Africa and the female folk all over the world.

If appointed, the former Nigerian finance minister would be the first African and female to lead the WTO.

Okonjo-Iweala emerged winner of a keenly contested election for the position after her South Korean rival, Yoo Myung-hee, withdrew from the race.

She was to be declared the director-general when the United States representative at the WTO said Washington would not recognise her because it was still sticking to its nomination of Myung-hee.

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The WTO general council subsequently postponed its decision.

The Abia professionals convener said with the defeat of incumbent US president, Donald Trump, the Biden administration was expected to “amend, reconcile and right most of the wrong US diplomatic and multilateral relations, which had been damaged by Trump.”

According to Iroche, Okonjo- Iweala is “eminently qualified and emerged winner in an open and fair election.”

The statement added, “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the new director-general of the World Trade Organisation would be a tremendous boost for Africa and position her for one of the toughest jobs in the international system.

“Dr Okonjo-Iweala had won the support from the vast majority of member states, including the EU, Japan and China, but not the United States.

“We are now urging President Biden that as he has put as priority on day one in office the rejoining of USA to the Paris Climate Accord, he should equally place as priority the granting of the USA accent to the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.”

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