Mrs Ngozi Okwonjo-Iweala

10 Fun Facts About Mrs Ngozi Okwonjo-Iweala

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Who is Mrs Ngozi Okwonjo-Iweala?

Dr Okonjo-Iweala  is the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General. Her term, renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025. In context, there are about 950 million people in Africa and 55 countries on the continent. She excelled over that many people and nations. A distinguished scholar, mum and grand mother, Mrs Okwonjo-Iweala shows us that as women, we can aspire to be anything we want to be. When you read about Mrs Okwonjo-Iweala, you discover that she did not get to be the first woman DG by happenstance. She is well educated. Prayers and good luck charms did not do much for her either- she built her life on character, hard work, integrity and diligence. In one life time, a lot is possible. In this short piece, we share 10 fun facts about Mrs Okwonjo Iweala.

  1. She is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert. 
  2. She has served since March 1, 2021 as the Director General of the World Trade Organization.
  3. She is 66 years old and the first woman and first African, to occupy the position. She was born in 1954, six years before Nigeria’s Independence.
  4. She is known to have a ‘no nonsense attitude’. This means she has high standards and she demands the best of the people she works with.
  5. She studied at Harvard 1973-76 and earned a PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1988.
  6.  She spent 25 years at the World Bank, rising to the No.2 position as managing director (2007-11)
  7.  She was twice Nigerian finance minister from  2003-2006 and 2011-2015. She was the first woman to hold the post.
  8.  She served briefly as foreign minister in 2006, also the first woman to do so
  9.  She sits on the boards of Twitter, Standard Chartered Bank and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).
  10. Her son -Uzodinma Iweala- is the author of Beast of No Nation. The title of the book was from the Nigerian Afrobeats star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. This novel was turned into a film in 2015. Idris Elba won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor.


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