The 15th of February 2021 will go down as one of the momentous moments for Africa on the world stage. This is because the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO), selected Nigeria's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the organization's Director-General.
As reported on iAfrikan, the appointment is important because "the WTO is the only organization around the world that deals with matters relating to how different countries interact with each other when it comes to trade. As such, it is hoped that the new DG will facilitate and influence a more balanced international trading landscape for Africa."
Given her experience and qualifications, we can't think of anyone globally better qualified to be appointed to the position.
However, there's another side to her appointment which I believe is equally as important. The side where as Africans we are winning the narrative war.
As soon as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointment was announced, some reputable mainstream media outlets started running with some rather curious narratives. The most notable one was by Reuters, which eventually had to retract and delete.
However, the most horrible one is the below headline by a German newspaper. When translated it reads "This grandmother becomes the new head of the World Trade Organization." Words they did not use when 78-year old Joe Biden was announced as America's President, nor words they use to describe 66-year old German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
This further emphasizes the fact that the appointment of Nigeria's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the WTO is not only a win for African and international trade but also a victory of narratives.
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🌍 History was made on 15 February 2021 as Nigeria's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala selected by the WTO’s General Council to serve as the organization’s Director-General. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will start in her new role as DG on 1 March 2021. Her selection is important for Africa because the WTO is the only organization around the world that deals with matters relating to how different countries interact with each other when it comes to trade. As such, it is hoped that the new DG will facilitate and influence a more balanced international trading landscape for Africa. Link
🏭 The trend around some African governments moving to manufacture some of the goods they typically buy outside the continent, locally, is continuing. This time Egypt's government has signed a five-year partnership agreement with Samsung for the manufacturing of educational tablets in the North African country. The partnership with Samsung to manufacture educational tablets locally is said to be part of the Egyptian government's strategy to localize the country's technology sector. This agreement and the announcement of the Samsung tablet factory comes after the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt had discussions with various technology companies earlier in 2021. Link
🏪 An interesting trend has been emerging in Kenya over the past half a decade or so. The East African country is fast becoming known as a deathbed for giant retail businesses. In a space of approximately six years, several retailers that had a national presence have met their grave. There are various reasons that have been put forward as to why these retail businesses have failed, chief among them being bad management, fraud, and outright theft. Another observation is that the retail business in Kenya seems to be a zero-sum game, i.e. when one big retailer dies, another is on the rise. Link
⚡ Staying with Kenya, apart from the retail businesses graveyard, something else equally as important is plaguing the country - corruption, and inefficiencies at Kenya Power. As Jacob Mugendi writes: “It would not be too farfetched to assume that the C in KPLC stands for corruption because the level of corruption that exists in the company is of cosmic proportions, out of this world. (Kenya Power and Lighting Company – KPLC – is better known by its brand name ‘Kenya Power’).” This has resulted in bad customer service for Kenyans as well as inflated costs. Link
👩🏿💻 Nigeria’s Ebi Atawodi is the new Director of Payments for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, at Netflix. Before joining Netflix Atawodi was a key member of the Uber West Africa team having joined the ride-hailing company in 2017 and eventually becoming Head of Product at Uber. In that role, she also helped Uber scale across West Africa. Announcing her appointment, she has said that she is looking forward to doing the “best work of my life.” Her understanding of the West African market will come in handy in growing Netflix’s market share in the EMEA region through finding convenient methods for consumers to make payments. Link
The appointment of Nigeria's Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the WTO is not only a win for African and international trade but also a victory of narratives. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)
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