Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the newly appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organisation says her performance at the organisation will open doors for Africans and women to head international organisations.

Okonjo-Iweala said this during an interview with Arise TV ahead of her resumption into the office on Monday, March 1, 2021.

Since her emergence as the new WTO boss, the former World Bank director said she has been receiving glowing global applause.

She said, “I am proud for Africa, I am proud to be Nigerian and I am proud for women but the bottom line is capability to do the job and to deliver so that after me, there will be women, there will be other Africans, that is the whole point.

“Multilateral economic organisations need to have women. I have actually just published a book with the former Prime Minister of Australia about leadership talking about the fact that there is a dearth of women at the top even though a lot of progress has been made but it is too slow. This is an opportunity to have a woman leading a multilateral organisation.

“Opening this door as I did when I became finance minister, when I was given the opportunity to serve my country by (ex-) President Olusegun Obasanjo and then by (ex-) President Goodluck Jonathan, I focused on trying to deliver and worked round the clock because I recognised that if I could do a good job, people will no longer have inhibitions about giving women the job and that was a very big objective for me and it worked.

“Since I had the job, there have been three other women who have been nominated. In fact, it is becoming a norm to put a woman as finance minister and that is the impact I wanted to make.

“Similarly, here for the WTO, this is a very important multilateral. In the 73 years of the GATT –General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which turned into the WTO, there have not been any women.

“With this opening, I hope I will do a good job which I will very much focus on doing. Women will have the door open and Africans will have the door open and that is really an important thing.”

Following her appointment, the 66-year-old Harvard graduate has affirmed her readiness to confront the challenges associated with her new job.