Celebrating Success Series #1: Dr Ngozi Okonjo, First Woman and First African World Trade Organization General Director

By Elkanah Nyauma


Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the First Woman and First African World Trade Organization (WTO) General-Director. The Nigerian-born Economist and International Development Expert is a self-declared ‘doer’ with a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems. She brings stature, experience, a network, zeal and temperament for getting things done.

Dr. Okonjo 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 President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively. She was the first woman to serve as the country’s Finance Minister and the first woman to serve in that office twice. In 2005, Euromoney named her global Finance Minister of the Year.

She holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

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