The WTO operates a four Deputy Director-General style of governance and Benue State-born Yonov Frederick Agah is currently one of the four Deputy Directors-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). He has been in this position since the 1st of October 2013 and was reappointed to another four-year term on the 1st of October 2017.
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Mr Agah holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and he also obtained a Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (International Trade) from the University of Jos, Nigeria, in 1989 and 2007 respectively, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Abuja, Nigeria, in 2009. His doctoral dissertation focused on “Trade Policy Reform and Economic Growth in Nigeria Since 1986”.
Before joining the WTO, Mr Yonov Frederick Agah was previously a lecturer at Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna as a lecturer from 1979 to 981. He was also the senior feature writer/circulation manager, Benue Printing and Publishing Corporation, 1982 to 1984, and later became the Sales Manager at Benue Bottling Company Limited from 1984 to 1987. In 1990, Frederick became Field Manager at UTC Nigeria PLC and worked in that capacity for just one year before assuming the position of Deputy Director (multilateral), 1991 to 2001 and Director (external trade), 2002to 2005.
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Mr Yonov has been in and around the corridors of the WTO since 2005 when he was appointed as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation to serve as the Head of Nigeria’s Trade Office to the WTO in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva and also as the Alternate Chief Negotiator for the Doha Round.
As the Chair of the WTO’s General Council in 2011, he was charged with coordinating the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference which many adjudged to be successful despite the impasse in the Doha Round. DS-G Agah has also served in various capacities as indicated below:
- The Council for Trade in Goods in 2006.
- The Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in 2007.
- The Council for Trade in Services in 2009, the Trade Policy Review Body in 2008.
- Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body in 2010.
- The Chair of the Council for TRIPS, Special Session, in 2013.
The other Deputy Directors-General are Karl Brauner of Germany, Alan Wolff of the USA, and Yi Xiaozhun of China. With the confirmation of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Secretary-General of the WTO, they should be working really closely to bring about a level playing field and favourable trade policies for all.
World Trade Organisation
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