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Castries, Saint Lucia – The Government of Saint Lucia will host Director-General of the World Trade Organization [WTO] Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who has accepted Prime Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre’s invitation to be the guest of honour at the official activities commemorating the forty-fourth [44th] anniversary of Independence on February 22, 2023.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. She took office as WTO Director-General on March 1, 2021.

Previously, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala twice served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (2003-2006 and 2011-2015) and briefly acted as Foreign Minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. She distinguished herself by carrying out major reforms which improved the effectiveness of these two Ministries and the functioning of the government machinery. As a development economist and Finance Minister, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala steered her country through various reforms ranging from macroeconomic to trade, financial and real sector issues. She had a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director, Operations.

The distinguished Nigerian national was also appointed as African Union Special Envoy to mobilise international financial support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

Her first official visit to Saint Lucia, on the auspicious occasion of the island’s Independence anniversary, signals the commencement of what is hoped to be an enduring alliance with an acclaimed global leader and also lays the foundation to pursue a new strategic partnership with Nigeria and the African Union on matters of trade and developmental finance.

The WTO Director-General will make an address during the National Independence Rally on February 22 and will subsequently participate in a series of engagements over the course of her official visit which commences on February 21 and concludes on February 22.

The Government of Saint Lucia looks forward to hosting Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for Independence 44 celebrations.


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