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'A plus to Africa': Nigerians react to new WTO boss

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and the first African appointed to lead the World Trade Organization and in Nigeria's capital Abuja, that's cause to celebrate.

For people here, like brand developer Ibe Joy, the country's former finance minister is an inspiration.

"Her achievements as a lady has actually made us young ladies to actually have the drive to do more. If she can do it, we all can do it."

Three months after being rejected by the administration of former U.S. president Donald Trump, an endorsement by his successor, Joe Biden, saw Okonjo-Iweala get unanimous approval for the job.

[Civil servant Peter Uduma saying:] "That position is long overdue when you take cognizance of what Okonjo Iweala has put in... in this nation."

The 25-year-veteran of the World Bank returned to Nigeria in 2003 to serve as finance minister.

Her backers point to her hard-nosed negotiating skills which helped cancel billions of dollars of Nigerian debt in 2005.

[Admissions facilitator, Oladipo Rotimi, saying:] "A plus to Africa and it's a big plus to Nigeria."

Admissions facilitator Oladipo Rotimi believes her appointment will be a boost for a country that's suffered two recessions in the past five years.

"It gives us a voice."

But she does have her work cut out.

She will need to broker international trade talks in the face of persistent U.S.-China conflict, respond to pressure to reform trade rules, and counter heightened protectionism.

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