WTO Director-General Okonjo-Iweala to arrive in Ghana on April 25


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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will visit Ghana on Tuesday, April 25.

The purpose of the two-day visit is to meet policymakers, business leaders and civil society representatives, while underscoring the WTO’s commitment to reinforcing support to Sub-Saharan Africa.

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She is expected to meet Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, interact with female entrepreneurs and participate in a discussion on the theme: “Making Globalisation Work for Africa”.

The programme will be organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

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She will also hold discussions with the Minister of Trade and Industry.

“I am very much looking forward to my visit to Africa. Africa is a vital part of the membership of the WTO,” Dr Okonjo -Iweala, said ahead of her trip, in a press release issued to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra.

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“I look forward to strengthening our partnership with countries in the region.

African economies, she noted, had taken major steps towards economic integration over the last few years at a time when the global trade landscape was changing rapidly.

“We must make sure we all work together to help our members in Africa take advantage of the opportunities offered by re-globalisation.”

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the seventh Director-General of the WTO, took office on 1 March 2021, becoming the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General.

She is a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala was formerly the Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance previously on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc.

She was appointed as African Union (AU) Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

Previously, Dr Okonjo-Iweala twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions.

She had a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the second position of Managing Director, Operations.

She is renowned as the first female and African candidate to contest for the presidency of the World Bank Group in 2012, backed by Africa and major developing countries in the first truly contestable race for the world’s highest development finance post.

As Managing Director of the World Bank, she had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008-2009 food crisis and later during the financial crisis.

In 2010, she was Chair of the World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low interest credit for the poorest countries in the world.


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