World Trade Organization

  1. EU backs Nigeria's ex-finance minister to lead WTO

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
    Image caption: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the front-runner for the post of WTO director-general

    Nigeria's former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has won the backing of the European Union (EU) in her bid to become the first African to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Bloomberg news agency and the UK-based Financial Times newspaper are reporting.

    Bloomberg described the EU's decision as a "major coup" for Ms Okonjo-Iweala, while the Financial Times quoted an unnamed EU official as saying it was “a clear signal towards Africa and a sign of mutual trust”.

    Ms Okonjo-Iweala is being challenged by South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee for the post of WTO director-general.

    With the winner expected to be declared early next month, it be the first time that a woman will be at the helm of the WTO.

  2. Nigerian is 'best-qualified candidate' for top WTO job

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
    Image caption: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala wins praise from the African Union

    Nigeria's former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is "by far the best-qualified candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO)," according to the chairman of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

    "The African Union strongly supports her candidacy and calls on member states and friends of the continent to vote for her," he said in a statement.

    Ms Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are final two candidates - from an initial list of eight.

    The Nigerian would be the first African to be director-general of the WTO.

    She has had two spells as finance minister and a short stint as foreign minister in Nigeria

  3. Nigerian 'makes final shortlist' in WTO leadership bid

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
    Image caption: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has previously been Nigeria's finance and foreign affairs minister

    The World Trade Organization is due to announce on Thursday the final two candidates from a shortlist of five to lead the agency.

    Reports suggest they are both women - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-he of South Korea.

    The WTO has never been led by a woman or an African. The hope is that having an African head the organisation could boost the continent’s trade, which has stagnated at 2% to 3% of the global average.

    The successful candidate is expected to be announced next month.

    The new director general will have to deal with the US-China trade dispute and increased global protectionism.

    President Donald Trump's administration has also blocked the appointment of judges to the WTO's main dispute body, badly impairing one of the organisation's key functions.

    Read more:

  4. Video content

    Video caption: World Trade Organization: Could there be an African director-general?

    The World Trade Organization is currently looking for a new director-general and three of the candidates are African.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Liam Fox’s pitch to lead World Trade Organisation (WTO)

    Liam Fox says not every country "sees every issue through the Brexit prism".

  6. Kenya nominates sports minister for WTO job

    Kenyan sports minister Amina Mohamed
    Image caption: Amina Mohamed is the sixth candidate to be nominated

    Kenya has nominated Sports Minister Amina Mohamed for the position of the World Trade Organization (WTO) director general.

    The WTO is seeking to replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo who is stepping down a year early.

    Ms Mohamed is the sixth candidate to be nominated for the top job.

    Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was also nominated and has received backing from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

    Egyptian lawyer Abdel Hamid Mamdouh has is the only remaining candidate of the three who had presented their names to the African Union.

    Other countries that have nominated candidates for the job so far are South Korea, Mexico and Moldova.

    Nomination closes on Wednesday.