By Yahaya Balogun
|Nigeria’s candidate for General Director of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends the General Council meeting during the WTO Director General election process, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Geneva, Switzerland July 15, 2020. WTO/Jay Louvion/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.|
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has compelling experience and outstanding credentials to be the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She will also be the first woman to be in the exalted position if she gets the job. The simple but brilliant woman has all it takes to bring her talent to bear on the global financial stage.
On June 13, 1954, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was born in the rustic townlet of Ogwushi-Ukwu, Delta state, Nigeria. Okonjo Iweala is a Nigerian-American economist and economic guru. Iweala’s father, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, is the Eze (King) from the Obahhai Royal family of Ogwashi-Ukwu. Dr. Okonjo Iweala had her early education at Queen’s School, Enugu, St. Anne’s School, Molete Ibadan, and the International School Ibadan. As a teenager, the brilliant young Iweala got her enrollment into the prestigious Harvard University, USA graduating with Magna cum laude, an AB in Economics in 1976. “Magna cum laude is Latin phrases used in some colleges and universities to indicate the level of distinction with which an academic degree has been earned.” Dr.Okonjo Iweala earned her Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She wrote her thesis on “Credit Policy, Rural Financial Market, and Nigeria’s agricultural development.” A dissertation that launched her into limelight and world stage.
Dr. Okonjo–Iwiala has a repository of knowledge and great experience in the local and global economies. As a development economist, she has worked at the imposing World Bank in Washington DC, in the United States. In a period spanning more than 30 years in this reputable financial organization, Okonjo-Iweala distinguished herself in the World Bank (World financial Bank) position in Washington, rising to the number two position as Managing Director. Her oversight responsibility for the Bank’s world multibillion operational portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia qualifies her as a formidable would-be Director General of the World Trade Organization.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has to lead several World Bank initiatives to help low-income and developing countries during and after the financial and economic depression of early 2008. According to Wikipedia, the quintessential queen of global finance was part of the team and the Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa. This commission was set up by Denmark’s Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to assist Africa’s poor nations. Okonjo-Iweala chaired the International Development Association—IDA, a replenishment project established by the World Bank to support countries affected by conflicts, violence, gender, climate shocks and natural disasters, wars, and bad leadership, etc. The association’s drive was to raise a targeted $49.3 billion in donations and low-interest credits for the world’s poverty-stricken countries. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has administered various crucial economic positions in the international community.
Meanwhile, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also has a distinguished career in the government of Nigeria. She served as Finance Minister for the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership and administration. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was the first woman to have served twice as Minister of Finance under Nigeria’s government. She nearly lost her lonely voice and economic fecundity to rogue cabals in ossified corruption in the country.
She was able to function under the administrations of Obasanjo and Jonathan. The sterling image of the vintage Okonjo-Iweala was almost marred by a country thriving in graft, bribery, religious and ethnic zealotry, and lawlessness. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is currently a senior adviser at Lazard and serves on the Rockefeller Foundation boards and the Center for Global Development. She is eminently qualified for the DG position of WTO-World Trade Organization. Her experience in Finance, Management, Trade, and various monetary ventures has distinguished her from others. She will eminently bring financial management and good leadership to the World Trade Organization.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s vintage and creative, managerial skills transcend the firmament of the local and international monetary affairs. Her role and record in the homefront speak volumes. She has successfully nurtured the brilliant nature, moral and academic lives of her children.
Moreover, despite the moral walls, racial barricades and the political maneuver of the outgoing mendacious POTUS against Dr. Okonjo Iweala, her records at the International stage speak for her in financial management and leadership skills. All these impeccable credentials have distinguished mama Ngozi from among all her contemporaries jostling for the grand position. Let’s support this intelligent and amiable Amazon. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala will be a great asset to the World Trade Organization—WTO, and the International community.
Balogun wrote this piece from Arizona, United States of America.
In this article: