Egypt went head-first into a diplomatic war with Nigeria in the scramble to secure the chair of the World Trade Organisation, and it appears the north African country has lost—at least the first round.
The WTO has accepted the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of its director general, not minding Egypt’s protest when Nigeria replaced the initial nominee with the former finance minister.
The position is open to Nigeria, Egypt and Benin, and the hope was high Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh would clinch it for Egypt anyhow when Nigeria withdrew the first nominee, and the north African country insisted there would be no replacement.
But reacting, the WTO in a statement released on Tuesday June 9, acknowledged Okonjo-Iwela’s nomination, equally stating that nominations are still open till July 8, 2020.
“Nigeria, on 9 June 2020, nominated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020.
“According to the timetable announced by the Chair of the General Council, David Walker, the nomination period will close on 8 July 2020.
“Shortly after the nomination period has closed, candidates will be invited to meet with members at a special General Council meeting, present their views and take questions from the membership.”
Okonjo-Iweala is an Afrocrat that has held positions as vice president of the World Bank, GAVI, and others.