|Minister of Finance|
17 August 2011 – 29 May 2015
|Preceded by||Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga|
|Succeeded by||Kemi Adeosun|
15 July 2003 – 21 June 2006
|Preceded by||Adamu Ciroma|
|Succeeded by||Nenadi Usman|
|Coordinating Minister for the Economy|
17 August 2011 – 29 May 2015
|Preceded by||Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
21 June 2006 – 30 August 2006
|Preceded by||Oluyemi Adeniji|
|Succeeded by||Joy Ogwu|
|Born||13 June 1954|
Ogwashi Ukwu, Nigeria
|Citizenship||Nigeria, United States|
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA, PhD)
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born 13 June 1954) is a Nigerian-born economist and international development expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).
Previously, Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011). She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively.
Education and personal life
Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Queen's School, Enugu, St. Anne's School, Molete, Ibadan, and the International School Ibadan. She arrived in the US in 1973 as a teenager to study at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an AB in Economics in 1976. In 1981, she earned her Ph.D in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a thesis titled Credit policy, rural financial markets, and Nigeria's agricultural development. She received an International Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), that supported her doctoral studies.
She is married to Dr. Ikemba Iweala, a neurosurgeon. They have four children - one daughter, Onyinye Iweala (AB, MD, PhD, Harvard) and three sons, Uzodinma Iweala (AB, Harvard, MD, Columbia), Okechukwu Iweala (AB, Harvard) and Uchechi Iweala (AB, MD, MBA, Harvard).
During her campaign to become the next Director General of the WTO, it was revealed that Okonjo-Iweala became a US citizen in 2019 after spending several decades working and studying in the United States. Given the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US, analysts commented that the disclosure would be a contributing factor in shaping China’s attitude towards her.
Career at the World Bank
Okonjo-Iweala had a 25-year career at the World Bank in Washington DC as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director. As Managing Director, she had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia. Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008 – 2009, food crises, and later during the financial crisis. In 2010, she was Chair of the IDA replenishment, the World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low interest credit for the poorest countries in the world. During her time at the World Bank, she was also a member of the Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa, which was set up by the Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark, and held meetings between April and October 2008.
Career in government
Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was the first female to hold both positions. During her first term as Minister of Finance under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US$18 billion. In 2003 she led efforts to improve Nigeria’s macroeconomic management including the implementation of an oil-price based fiscal rule where revenues accruing above a reference benchmark oil price were saved in a special account, "The Excess Crude Account" which helped to reduce macroeconomic volatility.
She also introduced the practice of publishing each state's monthly financial allocation from the Federal Government of Nigeria in the newspapers. This action went a long way in increasing transparency in governance. With the support of the World Bank and the IMF to the Federal Government of Nigeria, she helped build an electronic financial management platform—the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), helping to curtail corruption in the process. As at 31 December 2014, the IPPIS platform had eliminated 62,893 ghost workers from the system and saved the Nigerian government about $1.25 billion in the process.
In 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was re-appointed as Minister of Finance in Nigeria with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan. Her legacy includes strengthening Nigeria’s public financial systems and stimulating the housing sector with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC). She also empowered Nigeria’s women and youth with the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Programme (GWIN); a gender responsive budgeting system, and the highly acclaimed Youth Enterprise with Innovation programme (YouWIN); to support entrepreneurs, that created thousands of jobs.
This program has been evaluated by the World Bank as one of the most effective programmes of its kind globally. Under her leadership, the National Bureau of Statistics carried out a re-basing exercise of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); the first in 24 years, which saw Nigeria emerge as the largest economy in Africa. She took a lot of heat for the fuel subsidy removal policy by the Nigerian government, an action that led to protests in January 2012. In May 2016, the new Nigerian administration eventually removed the fuel subsidy after it became apparent that it was unsustainable and inefficient.
Okonjo-Iweala is co-Chair of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate, with Nicholas Stern and Paul Polman. Previously, she served as the co-Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
In January 2016, She was appointed the Chair-elect of the Board of Gavi of the World Health Organization.
In the past, Okonjo-Iweala was also a member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (2015-2016), chaired by Gordon Brown; the Commission on the New Climate Economy (also co-Chaired by Paul Polman and Lord Nicholas Stern); the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Foundation; the United Nations’ Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (2012-2013); the Growth Commission (2006-2009), led by Nobel Prize winner Professor Michael Spence; and the Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which was established by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (2017-2018).
Okonjo-Iweala is the founder of Nigeria’s first indigenous opinion-research organization, NOI-Polls. She also founded the Center for the Study of Economies of Africa (C-SEA), a development research think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Brookings Institution.
In 2012, Okonjo-Iweala was a candidate for President of the World Bank, running against Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim; if elected, she would have been the organization's first female president.
Since 2019, Okonjo-Iweala has been part of UNESCO's International Commission on the Futures of Education, chaired by Sahle-Work Zewde. In 2020, the International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva appointed her to an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges. Also in 2020, she was appointed by the African Union (AU) as special envoy to solicit international support to help the continent deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria nominated Okonjo-Iweala as the country’s candidate to be director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She later advanced to the final round of the director-general selection candidacy of the World Trade Organization. She then thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for their support for being in the final round of the candidacy.
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Member International Advisory Panel (since 2016)
- GAVI, Chair of the Board (since 2016)
- OECD/UNDP Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB), Member of the Board
- African Development Bank (AfDB), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (2003-2006, 2011-2015)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF), Member of the International Monetary and Finance Committee (2003-2006, 2011-2015)
- Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, Chair (2004)
- Twitter, Board of Directors (since 2018)
- Standard Chartered, Independent Non-executive Member of the Board of Directors (since 2017)
- Lazard, Senior Advisor (since 2015)
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2019)
- Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Member of the Advisory Board (since 2018)
- Results for Development (R4D), Member of the Board of Directors (since 2014)
- Women's World Banking, Member of the Africa Advisory Council (since 2014)
- The B Team, Member (since 2013)
- Friends of the Global Fund Africa, Member of the Board (since 2007)
- Global Financial Integrity (GFI), Member of the Advisory Board (since 2007)
- African Risk Capacity, Chair of the Board
- African University of Science and Technology, Chair of the Board
- Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Member of the Advisory Board
- Global Business Coalition for Education, Member of the Advisory Board
- Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), Member of the Advisory Board
- Mercy Corps, Member of the Global Leadership Council
- Rockefeller Foundation, Member of the Global Development Network
- Nelson Mandela Institution, Chair of the Board
- One Campaign, Member of the Board
- Oxford Martin School, Member of the Advisory Council
- Vital Voices, Member of the Global Advisory Council
Okonjo-Iweala has received numerous recognition and awards. She has been listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (Fortune, 2015), the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (TIME, 2014), the Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy, 2011 and 2012), the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (Forbes, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), the Top 3 Most Powerful Women in Africa (Forbes, 2012), the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Africa (Forbes, 2011), the Top 100 Women in the World (The Guardian, 2011), the Top 150 Women in the World (Newsweek, 2011), the Top 100 most inspiring people in the World Delivering for Girls and Women (Women Deliver, 2011). She was listed among 73 "brilliant" business influencers in the world by Condé Nast International.
In 2019, Okonjo-Iweala was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also conferred High National Honours from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the Republic of Liberia. She is also the recipient of Nigeria's Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR). Other honors include:
- 2017 – Vanguard Award, Howard University
- 2017 – Women’s Economic Empowerment Award, WEConnect International[better source needed]
- 2017 – Madeleine K. Albright Global Development Award, Aspen Institute
- 2016 – Power with Purpose Award, Devex Development Communications Network
- 2016 – Global Fairness Award, Global Fairness Initiative
- 2014 – David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award
- 2011 – President of the Italian Republic Gold Medal, Pia Manzu Centre[better source needed]
- 2011 – Global Leadership Award, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
- 2010 – Global Leadership Award, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
- 2010 – Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award
- 2004 – TIME’s European Heroes Award
- 2004 – Finance Minister of the Year, Africa Investor Magazine
- 2004 – Finance Minister of the Year for Africa and the Middle East, The Banker
- 2005 – Global Finance Minister of the Year, Euromoney
- 2005 – Finance Minister of the Year for Africa and the Middle East, Emerging Markets Magazine
Okonjo-Iweala has received honorary degrees from 14 universities worldwide, including some from the most prestigious colleges: the University of Pennsylvania (2013), Yale University (2015), Amherst College (2009) Trinity College, Dublin (2007) Brown University (2006), Colby College (2007)., and Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica. She has also received degrees from a host of Nigerian universities including Abia State University, Delta State University, Abraka, Oduduwa University, Babcock University, and the Universities of Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Ife (Obafemi Awolowo). In 2019, Okonjo Iweala was awarded an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University.
- Fighting Corruption is Dangerous : The story behind the headlines - A frontline account from Nigeria's former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of how to fight corruption and lessons learned for governance and development. Published by MIT Press, (2018).
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi. Reforming the unreformable : lessons from Nigeria (First MIT Press paperback ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-0-262-01814-2. LCCN 2012008453. OCLC 878501895. OL 25238823M.
- Shine a Light on the Gaps – an essay on financial inclusion for African Small Holder Farmers, published by Foreign Affairs, (2015), co-authored with Janeen Madan
- Funding the SDGs: Licit and Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries, published by Horizons Magazine, (2016)
- Sallah, Tijan M.; Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi (2003). Chinua Achebe, teacher of light : a biography. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. ISBN 1-59221-031-7. LCCN 2002152037. OCLC 50919841. OL 3576773M.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi; Soludo, Charles Chukwuma; Muhtar, Mansur, eds. (2003). The debt trap in Nigeria : towards a sustainable debt strategy. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. ISBN 1-59221-000-7. LCCN 2002007778. OCLC 49875048. OL 12376413M.
- Want to Help Africa? Do Business Here – A Ted Talk delivered March 2007
- Aid Versus Trade – A Ted Talk delivered June 2007
- Don't Trivialise Corruption, Tackle It – A Tedx Euston Talk delivered January 2013
Gallery of Okonjo-Iweala
- "ARC Agency Governing Board – African Risk Capacity". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "Okonjo reminiscences". mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister of Nigeria and former managing director of the World Bank, will deliver the 2020 Graduation Address". www.hks.harvard.edu. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi (1981). Credit policy, rural financial markets, and Nigeria's agricultural development (Thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/46400. OCLC 08096642.
- "Nigeria receives its first sovereign credit ratings". Center for Global Development. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and her son Uzodinma". The Sunday Times. 20 August 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". The B Team. 15 September 2016. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- Dinitia Smith (24 November 2005), Young and Privileged, but Writing Vividly of Africa's Child Soldiers New York Times.
- "WTO Hopeful Okonjo-Iweala Balances Nigeria, U.S. Citizenships". 4 September 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's US passport will not help her chances in WTO leadership race, Chinese trade experts say". 4 September 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". World Bank Live. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "World Bank's Fund for The Poorest Receives Almost $50 Billion in Record Funding". World Bank. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa Folketing.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Forbes. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "Nigerian Debt Relief". Center for Global Development. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "The African State and Natural Resource Governance in the 21st Century" (PDF). The North-South Institute.
- "Nigeria's Experience Publishing Budget Allocations: A Practical Tool to Promote Demand for Better Governance" (PDF). World Bank.
- Songwe, Vera; Francis, Paul; Rossiasco, Paula; O'Neill, Fionnuala; Chase, Rob (1 October 2008). "Nigeria's experience publishing budget allocations : a practical tool to promote demand for better governance": 1–4. Cite journal requires
- "ICT4D Strategic Action Plan Implementation - Status Update and Illustrations Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi (4 April 2018). "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Brookings. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance: Interview". Oxford Business Group.
- "GWiN (Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria) Gets the Limelight!". Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- David McKenzie (8 September 2015). "What happens when you give $50,000 to an aspiring Nigerian entrepreneur?". Impact Evaluations. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Rebasing Makes Nigeria Africa's Biggest Economy". 5 April 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Nigeria unions to resist 'criminal' fuel price hike". BBC News. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed Chair-elect of Gavi Board". Gavi.org. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Members of the Global Commission". NewClimateEconomy.net. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation Media Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala bags Major World Health Organisation (WHO) appointment". The African Media. 25 April 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- Members Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance.
- "Our Founder". Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Center for the Study of Economies of Africa Homepage". Center for the Study of Economies of Africa.
- Elizabeth Flock, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank presidential candidate, says she would focus on job creation, Washington Post (9 April 2012).
- International Commission on the Futures of Education UNESCO.
- Andrea Shalal and David Lawder (10 April 2020), IMF's Georgieva creates external advisory panel on pandemic Reuters.
- Emma Rumney (12 April 2020), African Union appoints ex-Credit Suisse boss as envoy for virus support Reuters.
- Ana Monteiro (5 June 2020), Nigeria Nominates Okonjo-Iweala as WTO Director-General Bloomberg News.
- "Okonjo-Iweala Advances to Final Round of WTO Leadership". The African Media. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- "Ngozi Nkonjo-Iweala thanks President Buhari fro his Support (See tweet)". The African Media. 8 October 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- First Meeting of the International Advisory Board Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), press release of 10 July 2017.
- "International Advisory Panel Holds Inaugural Meeting". Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- Governing Board Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB).
- 2013 Annual Report African Development Bank (AfDB).
- "Tweet by @jack". twitter.com. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Twitter Appoints Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Robert Zoellick to Board of Directors". PR Newswire. 19 July 2018.
- "Okonjo-Iweala named director at UK bank - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. Vanguard News. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Washington Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Board of Trustees Welcomes Five New Members Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 6 June 2019.
- Advisory Board Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
- Board of Directors Results for Development (R4D)
- Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Joins R4D Board of Directors Results for Development (R4D), press release of 8 May 2014.
- African leaders commit to economic empowerment for low-income women Women's World Banking, press release of 24 November 2014.
- Leaders The B Team.
- Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz reveal The B Team Leaders and kick-start a Plan B for business The B Team, press release of 13 June 2013.
- Friends of The Global Fund Africa officially launched Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, press release of 12 February 2007.
- GFI Advisory Board Member, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to Be Nominated for World Bank Presidency Global Financial Integrity (GFI), press release of 22 March 2012.
- "ARC Agency Governing Board". African Risk Capacity. 29 October 2016.
- Advisory Board Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
- Advisory Board Global Business Coalition for Education.
- Advisory Board Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS).
- Global Leadership Council Mercy Corps.
- Board of Directors Nelson Mandela Institution.
- Michael Elliott (25 June 2013), The ONE campaign does not drown out African voices The Guardian.
- Governance Oxford Martin School.
- Global Advisory Council Vital Voices.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Fortune. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Center For Global Development. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi (4 April 2018). "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Brookings. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- "Managing Director of The World Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Visiting Turkey". World Bank. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- "Power With Purpose". Power With Purpose. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala receives 2016 Global Fairness Award". Vanguard News. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Okonjo-Iweala honoured with David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award". Businessday NG. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi (29 August 2014). Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-52687-6.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". The Rockefeller Foundation. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- "Okonjo-Iweala bags African Finance Minister of the year award". Vanguard News. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- "Vice President Biden to speak at Penn's 257th Commencement | Penn Current". penncurrent.upenn.edu. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Yale awards nine honorary degrees at Commencement 2015". Yale News. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "2009 Honorees | Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". www.amherst.edu. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients". tcd.ie. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Brown University will confer eight honorary degrees on May 28". brown.edu. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala | Commencement". www.colby.edu. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Photo News: Okonjo-Iweala bags honorary PhD from Tel Aviv varsity". P.M. News. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
- "Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi. Fighting corruption is dangerous : the story behind the headlines. Cambridge, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-0-262-03801-0. LCCN 2017041524. OCLC 1003273241. OL 27372326M.
- "Want to help Africa? Do business here". TED. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Aid versus trade". TED. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Don't trivialise corruption, tackle it: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at TEDxEuston". youtube. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.|
- Want to help Africa? Do business here, a TED talk
- Time Europe's Heroes of 2004
- "2011 budget not good for development – Okonjo-Iweala"
- The Center for Global Development and The Washington Post Present: A World Bank President Candidate Event: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- Appearances on C-SPAN
| Minister of Finance
| Minister of Foreign Affairs
Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga
| Minister of Finance