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Ex-Malawian president hails ‘excellent’ Buhari for backing Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO bid

Ex-Malawian president hails ‘excellent’ Buhari for backing Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO bid
March 19
16:03 2021

Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to emerge as director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

During her working visit to Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala acknowledged that the president nominated her for the job and campaigned for her tirelessly.

Banda spoke about Okonjo-Iweala’s victory at the state house, Abuja, on Friday, when Buhari received the national and international working groups of the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative.

“As a member of the African women leaders network, I would like the first thing is to thank you, Mr. President most sincerely for the support that you provided to our sister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo on her candidature at the WTO,” Banda said.

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“I say this because being a woman, I know that most fellow women barely take positions on international organisations, because they don’t get support from their country and their president. And I also happen to know that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala did not serve on your cabinet. But you stepped out and did everything you could to support her, not only to support her but you supported all women of Africa.

“And so I speak freely on their behalf in expressing our gratitude to your excellency for that statement. You’re excellent. Secondly, I will like to congratulate my sister minister of women and all young people, Nigeria, and men and women also work so hard during that period leading to the WTO position.

“To reiterate what Dr. Ken Nnamani has said, Your Excellency, I participated as a keynote speaker yesterday, on a launch of a barometer that shows where Africa stands in getting women into leadership positions. And it was very sad, to find that Nigeria is on the position number 185 out of 190.

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“And I do know that this can change quickly. Because as far as we are concerned, Nigeria, is the country of achievers but look what we are particularly watching what your excellency is doing. And we know that during your time, we can achieve. The current ongoing constitutional review process provides a unique opportunity for you and the people of Nigeria to enable a different percent gender quota.”

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