FACT-CHECK: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Not Yet Appointed First Female WTO DG


CLAIM: On Thursday, October 8, 2020, various social media platforms were engulfed with the claim that Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been appointed the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Multiple sources, especially on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp made the claim that former Nigeria’s minister appointed WTO DG on Thursday, October 8, 2020.


Investigations by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development shows that Okonjo-Iweala has only advanced to the final stage of the WTO selection process alongside another female candidate, Yoo Myoung Hee from South Korea.

The claim that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed first female Director-General of the WTO on Thursday, October 8, 2020, is false as the organization is yet to round up its selection process for a director-general.

In a press release announcing the progress of the two female candidates to the final stage, the Chair of the General Council of the trade organisation, Ambassador David Walker, said the third phase of consultations will commence on October 19 and run until October 27, 2020.

Walker said allotted time will allow members of the organisation sufficient time to prepare their positions.

The statement reads: “During this period, WTO members will be asked in confidential consultations to express to the facilitators a single preference and based on these preferences, the troika will deliver their assessment on which of the two candidates is most likely to command a consensus of the membership and become the seventh Director-General of the World Trade Organization. Ambassador Walker would then call a formal general council and present the troika’s recommendation to the membership for a formal decision.’’

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s candidate for the top trade organisation’s job. She served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister.

She has worked at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.


As of Thursday, October 8, 2020, Okonjo-Iweala has not been appointed WTO’s Director-General as widely circulated.

WTO is yet to finish the process of selecting a director-general for the organisation, confirming the claim the Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed is false.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them. You can also forward suspicious messages for verification via WhatsApp to +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa