The campaign of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Nigeria’s nominee for Director-General of the World Trade Organization has continued to attract robust excitement and support not only within the country but also abroad.
Anchored on the theme “A fresh pay of eyes’ and propelled by her extensive experience and consequential successes as a development economist with extensive experience in trade-related issues at the global and national levels, the campaign has been as effective as it has been exciting.
Many blocs, institutions and personalities have come out to back the former World Bank president and two-time Finance Minister who is widely considered one of the most qualified person vying for the position.
Professor Patrick Lumumba, a popular intellectual whose voice is respected across the continent is one of the latest personalities to make a case for Okonjo-Iweala based on merit.
Though a Kenyan citizen like Amina Mohamed, one of the candidates running for the position, Professor Lumumba is forthright in his conviction that Okonjo-Iweala is Africa’s best bet in the race which has a total of eight candidates.
Speaking on the need for the continent to put its best foot forward in international contests, Lumumba who served as Director of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission said:
“Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate we should back, given her credentials.”
It will be recalled that the West African region had previously come out in support of Okonjo-Iweala after the Benin Republic candidate stepped down for her.
Also, contrary to the strident claims by the Egyptian candidate that he is the continental candidate not Okonjo-Iweala, the African Union has come out with a statement that it is not backing any candidate.
This means that the “stop Okonjo-Iweala” peg on which the Egyptian candidate had anchored his whole campaign has collapsed.
But even before the announcement, the WTO had earlier formally accepted her nomination.