Congratulatory Message to Dr. Ngozi Okonjo - Iweala , WTO Director General
February 15, 2021, will mark a special day for the African Community when history was made through the nomination of Dr Ngozi Okonjo - Iweala as the first woman ever to be chosen as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
We, at World Animal Protection, Africa Region, take special pleasure to congratulate this great daughter of the continent. Through her selection, she reenergizes not only the empowerment of women and the girl-child, but also brings a new ray of hope for her mothering instincts to help heal our ailing mother, planet earth.
Trade is a domineering factor on how man relates with the planet. Evidence abounds that the COVID-19 pandemic is closely associated with trade in wild animals. We have evidence that wildlife trade has a serious impact on biodiversity. Additionally, the rapidly growing industrial agriculture-based food systems have a serious impact on biodiversity. Biodiversity loss is a key driver of the increasing incidences of serious wildlife zoonoses, such as COVID-19.
It is, therefore, heartwarming to note Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s statement that a key priority for her will be to work with members of the WTO to address the economic and health consequences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We trust that this will inspire the development of policies that will constrain trade in commodities from food systems and wildlife resources that endanger the wellbeing of the planet and the global community.
We are excited by the future we anticipate under the leadership of this charismatic Lady!
Tennyson Williams - Director – World Animal Protection, Africa