2nd December, 2020
Nigeria’s former finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has dedicated to Africa her recognition by Forbes-CNBC as 2020 African of the Year.
The Forbes Africa-CNBC award was the latest honour clinched by the development economist and former Managing Director of the World Bank.
Okonjo-Iweala, expressed her delight at the recognition and dedicated the award to Africans facing the health and socio-economic challenges of Covid-19 during a very difficult year.
“It is a great honour to serve Africa in different capacities.” said Okonjo-Iweala, who was one of the African Union Special Envoys appointed to mobilize international support for Africa’s efforts to address the Covid-19 economic fallout.
“I look forward to deploying my energies at the WTO for Africa and the world”.
The award comes weeks after her name was submitted as the World Trade Organisation’s Director General designate – the candidate who has garnered the most support to head the organization.
But her appointment was blocked by Trump’s United States.
The WTO Council in reaction postponed deliberations on it ‘until further notice”.
Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s minister of finance.
She is also the World Health Organisation (WHO) Special Envoy for the newly inaugurated Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator and its offshoot the COVAX facility.
COVAX is an international collaboration aimed at accelerating the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests kits around the world with the specific objective of ensuring timely, affordable and equitable access to poor countries.
Okonjo-Iweala also serves as the Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
*With Arise News