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Okonjo-Iweala means female power

by Agunbiade Kehinde - 16 February 2021 492 Views

Okonjo-Iweala means female power 

The Nigerian business and finance maestro, development economist Okonjo Iweala, has stepped on a new height in her rosy life and career after being declared the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Interestingly noticeably, she's the first woman and African to lead the international trade body. In a dramatic turn of events during the Trump administration as the President of the United States of America, she was rejected, even as she holds the American citizenship. After the emergence of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, he backed the known finance woman who, over the year, has shown everywhere she held that she knows her onions. With or without the US support, or the withdrawal of the South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee, the world knows quality when it sees one. And inarguably, Okonjo-Iweala is the epitome of quality and another manifestation of the limitless capacity of women to lead the top echelons in the world. 


WTO DG position and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: what it means to the world

The 66-year-old, popular with her signature gele which stands firmly and jibes with the rest of her attire, embodies the beauty of being African and doing great things without caring whose ox is gored. For her nonconforming approach to doing the best out of any task given, she was nicknamed "Okonjo-Wahala"—that is Okonjo the trouble maker. Okonjo-Iweala graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1976 and earned her doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. She was named managing director of the World Bank in 2013. Okonjo Iweala exhibits female power and unfazed zeal anytime she's faced with trials. When served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria under President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan, she was the first woman to serve as the country's finance minister and the first woman to serve in that office twice. She was faced with a volatile economy of the largest economy in Africa and political power play. Amidst these challenges, she was able to weather the storm.

Okonjo-Iweala served as the board chair at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and this is one of the highlights of the official video clip posted on the WTO Twitter account. Signalling female power, and indeed African, she said in the video clip: "If the next DG of WTO happens to be a woman, great, she happens to be African, great. I hope it's a sign not only to women and girls in my country, but to women and girls worldwide that the world is ready and women can do it. " Okonjo-Iweala wields both female and African power—the same power we see in Miriam Makeba, Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, Wangari Maathai, Johnson Sirleaf and other influential, powerful African women. Noticeably, since the coronavirus interrupted the activities of humans, women leaders around the world have been lauded in their effective ways in approaching curbing the pandemic and letting life return to normal in their respective countries. From Jacinda Ardern to Erna Solberg, women leaders around the round performed better than their male counterparts in the management of their countries during Covid-19 crisis. The challenges of the 21st century: climate change, public health, globalization, talent development, communication, new technologies require an efficient style of leadership which women have shown to possess. 

A businesswoman on Twitter announced she would be offering #100,000($262) to any woman who dresses best as Ngozi Okonjo Iweala dresses. This sparked a sensation of women dressing as NOI dresses on Twitter with the hashtag #NOIGoesToWTO. As she takes on this Herculean task, leaders around the world, including presidents of Nigeria and the United States, have declared the confidence they have in her to get the work done. She's faced with the job of rejuvenating the World Trade Organization and making global trade be the source of sustainable development for the needs of the 21st century.

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