Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala an Iconic Pacesetter
Thu, Aug 11, 2022 12:03 PM    



Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala needs no introduction as a reputable economist and international development specialist, whose policies have shaped the realms of local and global economy. Both home and abroad, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a household name that is synonymous with excellence, integrity, perseverance, and hard work. She is a stellar representation of the unlimited prowess and tenacity of the African Woman. 


Dr. Okonjo-Iweala who hails from Ogwashi-Ukwu in Delta State holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from the prestigious Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a recipient of 14 honorary degrees from several prestigious institutions including Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania amongst others.


Breaking Barriers, Setting The Pace

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is undoubtedly a pacesetter who continues to make historical strides as she breaks through doors that were previously closed to women and Africans. She has become the first of several titles including:

  • Nigeria's first female Minister of Finance.

  • The first and only Nigerian minister to have served in the same portfolio under two governments, i.e the governments of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. (2003-2006 and 2011-2015)

  • The first female Foreign Minister of Nigeria. (June 2006 to  August 2006)

  • The first and only woman to have held both positions as Finance Minister and Foreign Minister to date.

  • First and the only woman to become Nigeria's Coordinating Minister for the economy. (2011-2015)

  • The first woman and the first African to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, the global institution responsible for regulating the rules that govern international trade, as announced on the 15th of January, 2021.


Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala Career as Nigeria's Minister of Finance

In her tenure as Finance Minister, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala instituted several economic policies which greatly reformed Nigeria's economy. She played a key role in helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating (of BB minus) from Fitchs Rating and Standard & Poors's in 2006. She also instituted several effective development programs geared at empowering women and creating jobs for Nigerian youth. She is particularly known for her policies that severely tackled the misappropriation of Nigeria's oil money.


In her book, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous, Okonjo-Iweala shares how her fight against corruption resulted in several death threats and even the kidnapping of her aged mother all in a bid to force her resignation. This however did not deter her fight against corruption in Nigeria.  She has a track record of impeccable leadership skills that have  earned her several awards for her position as Nigeria's Finance Minister


Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala Career at the  World Bank

A large chunk of Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala's career as an economist was spent working at the World Bank where she worked on various economic development programs and policies geared at reforming trade policy in middle and low-income regions. Her 25-year career at the World Bank saw her rise to the position of Managing Director, the Number two position in the institution.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala As WTO DG

As a phenomenal trend, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala's tenure as the WTO's 7th DG begins on the first of March this year, as she is poised to steer the affairs of the WTO with over 30 years of experience as a development economist at both local and global levels.


As the new DG, her policies primarily aim to accelerate the global economy's recovery from the massive blow dealt with by COVID-19. Her policies further aim to build a stronger and more inclusive global economy that is conversant with the current realities. She is particularly keen on creating policies that factor in the role of e-commerce and digitalization in the advancement of the world's economy.


Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, is definitely the woman for the job, with her experience and a fresh set of eyes, we are certain of the implementation of well thought out policies that will reform global trade and help the world's economy recover from the effects of COVID-19.