The Mo Ibrahim Foundation welcomes the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As its first female and first African leader, this is a significant moment.
This comes at a difficult time for multilateralism. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, a tumultuous period for global trade and increasing nationalist tendencies, the WTO faces significant challenges. Our sister Ngozi will fill this critical role with experience, wisdom and determination - steering an inclusive global trade agenda that is the only way to lift millions out of poverty and bring shared prosperity to the world.
We hope that the WTO will temporarily waive the specific Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This will provide the know-how to manufacture vaccines in Africa, a key step in enabling access to vaccines for all as quickly as possible. This is the only way to ensure a global, coordinated effort to contain COVID-19. If there is one emergency we must address, this is it.
A close friend of our Foundation from its very beginning, and member of the inaugural Prize Committee, the new Director-General of the WTO can rely on our full and committed support.