In a letter to the former Finance Minister of Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo said her appointment is a tribute to all black women.

He expressed delight at the fact that her election was by consensus of the General Council of the WTO, thereby making Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala “the first woman and first African to occupy the of Director-General of the Organisation.”

“I am of the firm conviction that you are eminently qualified to lead the organisation in these momentous times, and I assure you of the full support of the Government of Ghana in your new role,” President Akufo-Addo added.

The President, in the letter, sent a congratulatory message to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, on the appointment of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to her new position.

President Nana Addo
President Nana Addo

Her appointment, the President explained, comes at a time when Africa has taken steps to liberalise intra-continental trade through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and the challenges brought about by COVID-19.

When she takes office on March 1, 2021, Dr Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General. Her term, renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025.

“This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting,” said General Council Chair David Walker of New Zealand who, together with co-facilitators Amb. Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Amb. Harald Aspelund (Iceland) led the nine-month DG selection process.