Africa’s candidate for the World Trade Organisation’s top job, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is set to become the first woman to lead the global body after the United States backed her bid Friday, February 5. “The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the WTO,” reads a statement by the United States Trade Representative. “Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister,” the statement added. Biden’s administration also acknowledged that the African candidate is “widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership.” Okonjo-Iweala, 66, is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, and Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) among others. She previously spent 25 years at the World Bank as a development economist. She also twice served as Nigerias finance minister. Before Friday, there were only two women that had made it to the final round of consideration for the position of WTO Director General, the first time in the history of the institution for a woman to reach this stage. The other candidate was the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee, however, she withdrew her candidacy on Friday, in what the US called “to help facilitate a consensus decision at the WTO”. Though Biden administration’s support means a lot in Okonjo-Iweala’s chance to lead WTO, the sole remaining candidate will wait for the member states to reach a consensus decision on the new leadership. October last year, the administration of former President of US Donald Trump refused to back Okonjo-Iweala, deciding to rather rally behind South Korea’s candidate. The Geneva-based WTO whose mandate is to regulate international trade between nations was created in 1995 out of the former General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, has never had a woman or African as its leader. The WTO has over 160 members representing 98 percent of world trade. Over 20 countries are seeking to join the WTO.