The better allotment of happy-ending account in Nigeria in the ages of February 2021 is the endorsement of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the abutting Director General of the Apple Barter Alignment (WTO) by the United States. The South Korean applicant for the position, Yoo Myung-hee whose antagonism had enjoyed the abetment of the United States beneath the Trump administration, withdrew and the South Korean authorities accept aback apprenticed their abutment for Dr. N.O. Iweala.
The South Korean’s beforehand abnegation to footfall bottomward had fabricated it difficult for Dr. Iweala to be accepted by accord aback she got the majority of the votes at the end of the alternative action in October 2020. The WTO chooses its Director General by consensus. The Trump administering abandoned Iweala on the area that she did not accept requisite acquaintance in “trade negotiations”. The action had to be kept on authority until afterwards the US Presidential elections of November 2020.
Luck is a actual able agency in animal affairs. As it angry out, Donald Trump absent the election. His accident is not a accretion for the Democrats and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris alone, it was additionally a above accretion for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who has now benefitted from the change in the United States, as a globalist, advanced President emerges in the White House. One of Biden’s ancient tasks in appointment was to disengage the accident larboard abaft by his predecessor, and a boldness to re-establish America’s administering in the all-embracing order, abnormally with attention to such issues as altitude change, and America’s role and abode in the apple through such multilateral institutions as the UN, the Apple Health Alignment and the Apple Barter Organization. On Monday, February 15, the WTO clearly appear Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the abutting Director General of the WTO (March 1, 2021 – August 2025). You should accept been in Nigeria or on Nigerian Amusing Media on that day.
Nigerian Twitter exploded with shouts of action and expressions of delight. Nigerians did not allocution about luck. (But brainstorm if Trump had won and that guy alleged Robert Lightizer had remained US Barter Representative). They talked about the history fabricated by a abundant Nigerian ambassador, a woman of destiny, and an able person. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s anniversary was the actuality of history: the aboriginal woman to appear as DG of the WTO, the aboriginal African and additionally the aboriginal Nigerian to accept that office.
This agency a lot to the people. In a country area indigenous sentiments run deep, cipher talked about Okonjo-Iweala’s indigenous group. Cipher talked about her religion. Her accomplishment was article far added significant, a attenuate bump of the actuality that the aforementioned Nigerians that advance mediocrity routinely, acknowledge and acclaim acumen aback they see it. As a bodies we allow in atrocity and bootless altercation for egocentric reasons. But Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s authoritative of history was far too iconic and allegorical to be bargain to such abject instincts. The joy that was bidding appear a allowance of humanism that is generally masked in the Nigerian character. Congratulations. Congratulations. Congratulations.
It is aboriginal canicule yet beneath the Joe Biden administering but the new US President has signalled that there is now a new aurora in the United States and the world. Aural the aforementioned aeon that the US alone its action to the antagonism of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, President Biden beforehand bidding his address to appointment with and abutment the African Union. President Trump, afore him, was not too agog about Africa. He absolved some of our countries as “shithole countries.” Nigeria was articular as one of such countries. Today, four Nigerian-Americans are in the Biden/Harris team. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has additionally been endorsed. The Biden administering would do able-bodied to anatomy on the amicableness that it currently enjoys in Africa. In addition, African leaders deserve acclamation for the adherence that they approved with their abutment for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy.
As we accept apparent in the case of Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus as DG of the WHO in 2017, and Dr. Akin Adesina’s re-election as AfDB President in 2020, in the face of again, Trump-America’s opposition, aback African leaders affiliate about a goal, they can be added absolute aural the all-embracing community. Aback home, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari additionally deserves acclaim for the statesman-like, non-partisan abutment that he has accustomed Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and afore her, AfDB’s Dr. Akin Adesina.
In June 2020, President Buhari nominated Okonjo-Iweala for the position, and withdrew the beforehand antagonism of addition Nigerian, Agent Frederick Agah. In October 2020, as the Americans approved to become a cog in the caster of WTO progress. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to acknowledge him for his abutment and to ask that Nigeria should abide to mobilise abutment for her candidacy.
“Mr. President, put a smile on my face. I am actual appreciative of my country”, she said. President Buhari told her: “I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you appear as the Director-General of WTO, not alone because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a abundant Nigerian. You deserve this…I did the aforementioned for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country beneath the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You are both awful qualified. We will abide to abutment you. I will anon accomplish those calls.” President Buhari has kept his promise. We are impressed. This is an act of complete administering that we will anamnesis positively.
NOI is of advance conspicuously able for the position that is now hers. Twenty-five years at the Apple Bank as a technocrat, ascent to become Vice President and Managing Director of the all-around body. Two-time Minister of Finance of Nigeria. One-time Minister of Foreign Affairs. Board Member, Twitter. Chair, GAVI Alliance. Special Envoy on COVID-19 to the African Union. Author. Accessible Intellectual. Ph.D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Development Economics, with accurate acumen in acquirements and character. Recipient of abounding awards and distinctions. Eminent all-around citizen.
Even with the best of credentials, nonetheless, anyone gluttonous the administering of a cardinal anatomy like the 164-member WTO would charge a lot of support. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala got this in abundant supply. The acknowledgment of the United States to the WTO fold, and the home abutment that she enjoys in Nigeria and Africa will accomplish her appointment added acquiescent in abounding respects. Even added so would be the folk hero cachet she now enjoys amid the African populace.
Last week, abounding of her compatriots took to the amusing media to celebrate. You may accept heard of the Hillary Clinton pantsuit attack or the Kamala Harris distinct strand, apricot chaplet celebration. The pantsuit is Hillary Clinton’s signature costume. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, her changeable supporters donned the pantsuit to authenticate their adherence for the afresh US Democratic Presidential applicant beneath the amusing media hashtag: #PantsuitNation.
They were all over Facebook too as they projected the pantsuit as a attribute of Hillary Clinton’s messages: power, adequation and a akin arena field. Conservative and academic in her pantsuit, Hillary Clinton cut the angel of a able who could authority her own a in a allowance abounding of macho politicians. She appropriately accent the affiliation amid attitude and clothing. In 2020, we saw this on affectation afresh with the actualization of Kamala Harris as aboriginal female, aboriginal Asian, and aboriginal Black woman Vice President of the United States. On commencement day, January 20, 2021, her admirers additionally wore her signature fair chaplet – not aloof a allotment of jewelry, but a attribute of power, acquaintance and solidarity. They additionally created a Facebook page: “Wear Pearls on January 20, 2021”. In the aftermost week, the new WTO DG has had her own apparel moment.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is acclaimed for her signature costume: the African wax two-piece attire, additionally accepted as “Ankara” capped with a arch tie bargain accepted as “gele” in the South West of Nigeria. She apparently in her adolescent canicule wore the approved changeable attires, pantsuit, skirts and blouses, but aback her canicule as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance beneath the Obasanjo administration, Nigerians cannot bethink seeing her in official accommodation in annihilation added than the Ankara dress and gele.
The arch tie is a above actualization account amid African women, and the accepted styles are absolutely flamboyant. Tying the gele in itself is an art. a advancing small-scale action exists about it. Abounding men and women acquire a active from allowance to tie the gele, in actual artistic. artistic styles, the best arresting for me actuality the multi-deck, layered, building type, or those types that are meant to accomplish assemblage about-face their active to booty a bifold look.
Compared to added fabrics, the African wax is advised bargain because it comes in assorted shades of affordable grades, generally difficult to analyze in agreement of amount or chic by artlessly attractive at it. In the aboriginal 2000s, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala adopted the African wax as her academic abrasion to official functions. Her adopted arch tie style, which she said she stumbled aloft by mistake, not alive how to tie the gele properly, was generally the base of jokes – a collapsed wrap- around, broadcast calm agglomeration of cloth, like a macho cap, with a bond at the back, what Yoruba women accredit to as “osuka”. I don’t apperceive the English chat for that, sorry. In this signature two-piece, African wax costume, and the adventitious gele, she fabricated a able account about simplicity, identity, actuality and power. This aforementioned apparel has now fabricated it to the mainstream. It is hilariously remarkable.
On February 15, 2021, Ms Temi Giwa-Tubosun (@temite) wrote on Twitter: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s tomorrow! #NOIgoestoWTO. We are giving abroad N100k to the best dressed! Dress up like NOI and accelerate her a bulletin of abutment as she goes to WTO!” This bent on like wildfire, and was aggregate beneath altered hashtags: #AnkaraArmy, #NgozigoestoWTO, #BeLikeNgoziChallenge and #JustlikeNgozi. The Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Ankara brim and blouse anon became all-over on all amusing media platforms, with the gele of advance angry in the aforementioned manner, and some of the participants abacus the NOI eye-glasses for effect.
The absorbing allotment of it is that some men absolutely joined. In Africa, at atomic in our allotment of it, it is abnormal for a man to tie the gele, such an actualization could be interpreted as a assurance of malady. But her macho admirers could not be bothered. They abutting the women and the adolescent ladies. I do not apperceive aback the champ of the award-winning was appear or who the champ is. I accept not agitated to acquisition out. We were all so captivated with the Ngozi-mania, the anniversary and the euphoria, it did not amount who won and who did not.
My favourite entry, however, was acquaint by Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun (@tolulopeab} assuming her babe dressed like NOI, arch to toe, angled bottomward her eye-glasses imitatively as she said: “Congratulations, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.” The #NOIchallenge will abide as promised on March 1, the day Ngozi goes to the WTO. If the Swiss authorities would be accommodating to accord out visas as requested, to every African, abounding will chase Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the WTO to advertise her arrival! They should accordingly be able for a colourful Ngonization of the WTO address because as the adage goes, “Naija no dey backpack last”. One added thing: the apologue of it all is inspirational.
Despite the abounding achievements, actual and contemporary, of the African woman, there are still abounding institutional, religious and cultural barriers, actual airy and damaging, which absolute the abeyant of the African girl-child and woman. This bind has been able-bodied accounting about in literature, as in Tsisi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, Buchi Emecheta’s The Slave, Second Chic Aborigine and The Bride Price.
Add Zulu Sofola’s Wedlock of the Gods; in backroom as in the bigotry and marginalization of women in accessible activity admitting years of address about acknowledging action; in business and babyminding as apparent in continuing inferiorization and commoditization of the African woman and the wanton feminization of poverty. The brand of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala burst the bottle beam continued ago. She is a acknowledged career person, a mother, a association baton and an all-embracing citizen, who inspires added Africans with how she has auspiciously managed to antithesis abounding goals. Abounding parents appetite their daughters and sons to be like her.
One Swedish bi-weekly however, referred to her as a “grandmother”: “This Grandmother will become the bang-up of the WTO” (Luzerner Zeitung): How sexist and crass! The advertence to her feminism and changeable cachet is absolutely misplaced. They accomplish it complete as if she is activity to the WTO to babyish sit: what Igbos in Nigeria’s South East alarm “Omu Ngwo”. But appear to anticipate of it: conceivably that is absolutely what the WTO needs: a grandmother’s instincts to align an academy that some bad, aberrant boys accept baby over the years.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says she is activity there with “clear eyes and ears.” We are alpha to see the signs. She is activity to the WTO to save the organization, and the blow of the world. Africans accept aerial expectations too. What does her new cachet beggarly for Africa, Nigeria and African barter in the ambience of the African Continental Free Barter Agreement (AFCTA), above the apologue of her African-ness?
She goes to Geneva as an African but as a all-around baton and citizen. And there is a lot to do. She has accustomed a arresting of what to apprehend with her antecedent account about the blackmail airish to internationalism by “vaccine nationalism”. She says “no one is safe until anybody is safe.” That is absolutely the affectionate of accuracy that the apple needs appropriate now.
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