Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala named 100 most influential people of 2021

September 27, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

Born June 13, 1954 in Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a great icon of the African continent who has several hats. She is notably an economist, fair trade leader, environmental defender of sustainability, champion of human well-being, specialist in sustainable finance and expert in global development.

Okonjo-Iweala was the first Nigerian woman to serve two terms as minister of Finance of Nigeria; initially, under the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003 to 2006; and second, under the chairmanship of Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015. Subsequently, from June to August 2006, she wasMinister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria. In 2005, Euromoney named her Global Finance Minister of the Year.

Since March 2021, she has been the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Okonjo-Iweala thus became the first woman and the firstAfrican to lead this organization as Executive Director.

She sits on the boards of:

  • Danone,
  • Standard Chartered Bank,
  • Twitter,
  • MINDS: Mandela Institute for Development Studies,
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,
  • Georgetown Institute for Women,
  • Peace and Security,
  • One Campaign,
  • Rockefeller Foundation,
  • R4D: Results for development,
  • ARC: African Risk Capacity
  • Earthshot Prize
  • GAVI : Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

As the first African to lead the WTO, a group of 164 member countries that oversees trade around the world, Okonjo-Iweala assumed the role of CEO at a critical time for the planet due to the health crisis. Indeed, as the globe faced a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns in government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo- Iweala has shown that to end the pandemic, states need to work together to provide every nation with equitable access to vaccines.

This fight for equitable access to vaccines has earned him a place among the 100 most influential personalities of 2021 by magazine Time in the category of Leaders. This figuration is accompanied by a biography written by Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for whom it will take "unity, cooperation and leaders like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala" to vaccinate the world.

Harry and Meghan estimate that Ms Ngozi's influence has helped to fully immunize "just over a quarter of the world's population, which numbers nearly 8 billion".

Several other personalities from the African continent are also on this TIME 100 list of the most influential people. You can find:

Source: TIME, BBC, WikiPedia

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