‘This year, the NABC celebrates 75 years in operation. Back then, this would have been unthinkable. Now the times are clearly changing in a positive direction,’ said NABC’s Rosmarijn Fens.
‘Trade is an instrument to lift people out of poverty,’ Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said previous to her appointment. Although there is a lot of hope for a positive change with the ‘new set of eyes’ at the helm of the WTO, the WTO has been operating in a challenging environment in recent years with an increase of protectionism among certain member states.
The majority of African countries are members of the WTO with the exception of Algeria, Libya, Sudan, the Comoros, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. ‘We hope that the appointment of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will result in more enthusiasm for free trade among the member states and for the African countries that are still in the process of becoming WTO-members,’ Ms. Fens concluded.