By Musa Sunusi Ahmad

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee have advanced to the final round of selection to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to Reuters, the reduction of the field from five to two means, if confirmed, that the 25-year-old, Geneva-based trade body would be led by a woman for the first time.

The official announcement of the two candidates left standing is expected tomorrow (Thursday).

Okonjo-Iweala, also a former Nigerian foreign minister, is an economist and development specialist now serving as board chair of global vaccine alliance, Gavi.

She has said the WTO should play a role in helping poorer countries access COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.

The initial pool of eight candidates to replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director-general in August – a year ahead of schedule, was narrowed down to five last month.

The organization aims to find a successor by early November.

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