The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) welcomes with great satisfaction, the election of the former Chair of its Board of Governors Dr. Ngozi OKONJO-IWEALA, as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s assignment comes as ACBF marks 30 years of existence and service in capacity development on the continent. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served in the leadership of the Foundation as Governor of ACBF for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2003-2006 in her portfolio as the Minister of Finance in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Cabinet and Chair of the Board of Governors at ACBF in 2011-2014 while serving as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy in President Goodluck Jonathan’s Cabinet.
As Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala persuaded her peers to take their financial contribution to ACBF to another level, repeatedly calling on them to scale up their support to ACBF to enable it to achieve its mandate of developing Africa’s human and institutional capacity for sustainable development. As a Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was instrumental in the World Bank’s support to the implementation of ACBF’s 2009-2010 Reform Agenda.
“The Foundation welcomes with excitement and hope, the election of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the WTO,” says Prof. Emmanuel NNADOZIE, Executive Secretary of ACBF, adding that: “Her election could not have come at a better time for Africa and the World. Her vision for both global and African continental trade inspires hope for the continent. ACBF looks forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the WTO, under Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership, for building capacity for Africa’s increased participation in the global economy and the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
Furthermore, in her vision for the WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that a rejuvenated WTO must take on fresh challenges, such as ensuring optimal complementarity between trade and the environment and ensuring that WTO rules best respond to the realities of e-commerce, the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy. These are additional areas in which ACBF would seek partnership with the WTO, areas whose urgency for Africa has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As she has done everywhere she served, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will, without any doubt, competently steer the world’s trade agenda in the right direction. ACBF wishes her a resounding success at the helm of global trade.