Former Minister of Finance and Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been selected as one of the two female candidates to proceed to the final stage in the race to lead the Geneva-based global trade body.

WTO members selected two final candidates, Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea ’s Yoo Myung- hee, to advance to the final round , Bloomberg reported on Wednesday .

By advancing two women to the final round of the selection process, the WTO will likely have the first female director general in its 25-year history.

Okonjo-Iweala served two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister. She has experience working 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.

Yoo is South Korea’s trade minister. During her 25-year career in government, she has helped expand her country’s trade network through bilateral accords with the U.S., China and the U.K.

WTO General Council Chairman , David Walker planned to formally announce the results to the institution’s delegates on Thursday morning in Geneva .

“ They ’re both very well qualified, it is going to be a fight ,” said William Reinsch , a trade official in the Clinton administration and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He added that the top challenge would be “ restoring the organisation to full strength and viability , and restoring its reputation.

“ You need members to have confidence that the WTO is capable of solving problems.
“ I think right now that confidence is eroded .”

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