I am awed at the story of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Trade Organisation’s seventh director general. If she is as good as the description that the article gives, she is my next role model (“Reform expected,” Feb. 26, Gulf Today).
She wasn’t born with a silver spoon. In fact she had the kind of early upbringing that seems the bane of the image of Africa. Poverty was rife as also farm chores and yet, she rose through ranks and education. And how!
She displays the kind of thinking and mindset that the world leaders should have had. She talks about several pertinent issues, one of them being vaccine nationalism. Had the other country leaders been even a bit like her, they wouldn’t have been hoarding more vaccines than their population requires.
Her thoughts about gender parity in the workplace and in organisations is also something to be noted. Although gender parity is now a cliche topic, it doesn’t get old.
Best of all, she is the first woman and the first African to hold the post of one of the directors. And that, is the kind of achievement that shatters those white and male supremacy thoughts.