Some women entrepreneurs have described the emergence of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General, World Trade Organisation, as a milestone achievement for women, particularly, African women.
The women spoke on Tuesday in Lagos.
Nigeria’s former Minister for finance whose appointment as DG, WTO takes effect from March 1, 2021, makes history as the first woman and first African to lead the WTO.
Joy Okpala, National Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN) told NAN that the development meant that women across the world could attain any height through perseverance, personal efforts, intelligence and determination.
Okpala said Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence would engender a new record for the world in terms of trade due to her unparalleled knowledge of world trade and finance.
Okpala charged women across the world to take up more political and economic positions to balance gender involvement in the world’s sphere of affairs.
She added that the world would see very positive and new innovations, coupled with gender reform policies that would accommodate more entrepreneurial womenfolk.
“This is indeed a milestone achievement for women and it proves that we can do anything as long as you put your mind to it.
“She got it through her personal efforts, intelligence, determination and what she needs now is support, and encouragement and we are very proud of her and would stand by her.
“Her take-off date which is March 1 which is the month of the international women’s day celebration shows that it is indeed a special month for women.
Okpala expressed optimism that “the world would see a new record in terms of trade as she understands the world, financial institution and the trade terrain and would give a lot of positive results.
“We are also looking forward to other women coming forth in political and economic position across the world,” she said.
Also, Mrs Ada Ozongwu, National President, Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE), said Okonjo-Iweala’s competencies and her capabilities to deliver through her previous career engagements speaks for her.
Ozongwu, lauding the new WTO DG’s parents and husband for their support and encouragement, stressed the importance of allowing the girl child to thrive irrespective of career choices and placements.
She urged Okonjo-Iweala to make the womenfolk, the nation, the continent and world at large proud as has always been the case in her previous career engagements.
She advised her to leverage the intercontinental card that comes with the appointment for the benefit of the continent under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“We are particularly very proud of her, as an African, a Nigerian and a woman.
“Her competencies spoke for her, her capability to deliver all through her working career and she has all it takes to deliver under this new appointment.
“Being a woman, she understands the need to work extra hard and we thank her parents and her husband for believing in the girl child and giving her the space to fly.
“At the end of her tenure, we would like to see what she has achieved having received this intercontinental card.
“We hope she leverages same in the AfCFTA and ensures we get the best out of the agreement.
“We also expect that she gives back to womenfolk as she has always done and bring her experiences to trade to give it a better structural system,” she said.