The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is notoriously known as an institution marred by disagreements. On Wednesday afternoon, however, there was a consensus on who the next Director-General (DG) should be. The selection committee announced that Nigeria’s own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had a “wide margin of support” for the role.
It does not mean that she has been confirmed for the job (a mistake Nigerian media made), but it takes her one step closer to becoming the first female and African to lead the WTO. Despite Okonjo-Iweala’s majority support from the 164 members of the group, the selection process is more an “art than a science”—says Blomberg’s WTO journalist, Bryce Baschuk.
The selection committee—a three-person team, known as the “Troika”, listens to each country’s “vote” in a securely guarded room at WTO HQ, Geneva. As each country enters the meeting, security collects all electronic devices and closes the grand doors behind them.