The Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Response

The Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Response

It is one of those unfortunate things in the world: those who hired a cosmetic diva and a real estate flipper as trade advisers and negotiators are asking a Harvard graduate and MIT PhD to prove that she is qualified for a job. Reading Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s response to the United States on the World Trade Organization blockage is painful. But that is the world we live: you must be twice good to be half-celebrated. What can I say that her main competitor has not come out to endorse her. I mean how would the second in class, Ms  Yoo Myung-hee, feel if she actually gets this job? You lost the match but went home with the gold medal. Tufiakwa!

In the wake of United States’ opposition to the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the director general of World Trade Organization (WTO), on the ground that she lacks trade knowledge, Okonjo Iwela-Ala has responded, refuting the claims with references to her past experiences in trade.

Her response reads below:

“I am a development economist and you cannot do that without looking at trade. Trade is a central part of development. So, I have been doing it. My whole career at the World Bank, I was working on trade policy reform in middle and low-income countries at the bank.

“As a finance minister, the customs service in my country reported to me. And that is all about trade facilitation. I helped my country’s negotiation with my trade minister on the ECOWAS common external tariffs. I don’t know how much more trade you can have than that.

“So those who say I don’t have trade, they are mistaken. I think the qualities I have are even better, because I combine development economics with trade knowledge, along with finance, and you need those combination of skills to lead the WTO. I think I have the skills that are needed. I am a trade person,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

Sure – it is about national economic positioning and the U.S. does not care. That should not surprise because in the rise of the REST, someone has to “feel diminished”, even abstractly. The US does not want that to happen and is defending its castle. Yoo’s South Korea belongs to the old club while NOI and Nigeria, along with the emerging world, are hoping. Blunt her and keep the old order. This playbook will not change because the title “superpower” is in the dictionary for a reason.

U.S. concern is clear – we have given so much for others to rise. Possibly, Yoo can reverse that since Ngozi will see things from the angle of the emerging world which seeks more opportunities which, most times, the developed world will have to give out. It is not a zero-sum game: someone has to win or lose in balance of trade because the message of the rise of all, and not few remains globally tribal.

Yet, I still believe that NOI will get this job. The amazing United States will come along because Yoo is already damaged (she came second) to be effective. The only credible contender is sister Ngozi.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Response to US’ Objection to Her Appointment As WTO Head


1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): 140 global faculty, online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Click and register here.

2. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.

Share this post

17 thoughts on “The Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Response

  1. I think we are creating not so impressive narrative here, and that’s unfair to Ms Yoo, supposing she wins. When we delegitimize one’s legitimate position, just because it’s not the outcome we hoped for, it doesn’t inspire trust and confidence; and it makes it difficult for her job. What’s the poor Ms Yoo’s crime in all of these? She never bribed anyone to put her in the DG position, she’s just making a case on why she should be giving the job, just like our own Madam Ngozi.

    Ms Ngozi’s response to the US is pretty Ok, but a lot more might be needed, being accused to be unfair, on one side by China, and on the other side by the US, is not an easy position by any stretch. Both the US and China have a lot at stake in this, so each would go for a candidate they consider more favourable; this we must understand.

    I do not know of the cases Nigeria has taken to WTO and won, that is if we even know how to trade, it goes beyond casting votes; most of the 164 countries don’t have much at stake, only few do, and their voices and weight would be obviously bigger…

    Again, the comparison of Harvard/MIT and real estate does not really hold, political leadership takes much more than academic background to be successful.

    NOI can still win!

  2. Okechukwu Onuchukwu · Edit

    International trade and its balance is an interplay of national interests. Every country wants to secure its own and tip the balance in its favour, It’s trade not charity. For instance some aligned interests view Opec as a cartel while others see it as an umbrella of protection. While many would like to see NOI come out on top, the contribution of the U.S to global trade is significant, so is It’s ability to influence the polity.

  3. I have never seen these from these perspectives. I agree that because of what is at stake, the US or China would what to go with a choice that would holds its interest.

  4. This is quite interesting. The US is making the whole thing seem like Ms Yoo is being bullied if you ask me. How can you see that a person is very qualified yet vote for another? But again, either world powers, U.S or China, are campaigning for the candidate they feel would promote their interests. If the U.S reluctantly votes NOI, I fear they would frustrate her admiration.

  5. America is not the problem of ngozi okonjo , the only problem ngozi okonjo is having is China and Nigeria .

    Nigeria is a corrupt country and has allied with China .
    Nigeria is China’s baby ,
    Nigeria is China’s boy .

    This is where the problem started for ms ngozi okonjo .

    That’s why is good to come from a good country and a dependent nation ..

    1. Sad to say, this is not Okonjo’s fault. Trump’s US is against the World right now and the World is against the US. This is an obvious proof of this unwritten friction going on between the world and Trump’s USA. In picking the South Korean, it is not because she is a better candidate than Okonjo. The US just want to destabilise everything till they catch up with the world.

      The US is laggjng behind in so many areas now, though they still have world best military. But in almost every other aspect, the US is lagging behind, especially World trade and technology that is China bound with the 5g technology China already has. But the US still wants to be dictating to the world how things should be run. I see the World going past US soon when Trump’s wins the p
      US presidentialelections. So the US just wanna destabilise the WTO even more because it pays them to do so now

  6. If it is knowledge, skills, qualification, experience and integrity, our own Ms Ngozi is very qualified. In God that America trusts, I also trust. God will give the job to our own Ms Ngozi. May God change America to change the opposition mindset. Thank you God. Oba Deacon Professor Sunday Adejimola Amuseghan , Lawe II, Kalasuwe and the Paramount Ruler of Apoiland in Ondo State, Nigeria.

  7. USA please withdraw your objections and allow Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to pilot WTO affairs. She is eminently qualified not only from her past applications to similar jobs. She is a Nigerian-American with her distinguished Harvard, etc qualifications. Why would you support a Korean against an American citizen? I hope this has nothing to do with the color of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s skin. Please rely on her content of character. Thanks!

  8. WTO’s event is awakening to the third world countries. It is noteworthy,we are not discriminate by being black not geographical location . The collapse of communism and the Berlin Wall looked like a visa to a new world. A new world free of espionage and political empires,where nation wealth would be deservedly exchange but it was not to be. The monsters of power game only muzzle powers using economic chess to rule the world. Unfortunately, third world countries leadership feel inferior to their colleagues in developed countries. Moreso,our trade exchange are not fairly negotiated in international market. Mrs okonjo challenge is an awakening to leadership in developing countries. We should improve our trade system

  9. Mr. Michael Ngutsav Angyer, FCNA · Edit

    With God all things are possible. Our own, DR.NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA has brilliantly performed well and played her part in her aspirations to be come the next DG WTO. Let us commit everything into God’s hand for His faithfulness and Justice to prevail, believing that the King’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will- Proverbs 21:1. Let us not be weighed down by the reason of US opposition to the candidature of our own. Let us have confidence in God to do it for Nigeria.With God all things are possible. We wish our dear own DR. NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA good success in her deserved aspiration in becoming the next DG WTO.Best regards.

  10. I think the USA’s position has everything to do with Nigeria’s President’s obvious inability to curtail the Boko Haram threat (terrorism), and the prevalence of gross human rights abuses under his watch. It is more of a diplomatic signal. I don’t think it has anything to do with Dr. NOI’s credentials. The USA took a similar stand with its recently adjusted immigration policy towards Nigerians. It has nothing to do with our productivity in diaspora, but everything to do with frowning on our leadership for the same reasons.

  11. What is at play in this subject has many sides to it, and little or nothing to do with DR Ngozi’s qualifications and suitability for the job. It’s obvious US is being diplomatically challenged
    by those she considered inferior and thus she is fighting hard to retain the world power title. Let’s see how this pans out. We can only wish Dr Ngozi best of luck.

  12. Left to me, I sincerely want NOI to get the job. But I read in a couple of articles where corruption and misappropriation allegations were leveled against her. Please how credible are those reports?


Post Comment