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WTO Panel Recommends Nigeria’s Candidate for Top Post

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received a key endorsement Wednesday from the World Trade Organization’s selection committee, moving her a step closer to becoming the WTO’s first female director-general, people familiar with the matter said.

The panel of three senior WTO ambassadors told Okonjo-Iweala that she had a wide margin of support and is best poised to command a consensus from the organization’s 164 members, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are confidential.

The recommendation helps Okonjo-Iweala clear one of the final hurdles in a complex and lengthy process aimed at naming the next leader of the WTO during the most turbulent period of its 25-year existence.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, twice served as Nigeria’s finance minister and has experience working at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chair at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

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