25 April 2014

Nigeria: Dangote, Okonjo-Iweala Named Among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

Photo: Benedikt von Loebell/World Economic Forum
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance of Nigeria at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013.

Minister of Finance and co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Africa's richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, have been listed amongst the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

The international magazine which released its 2014 Time 100: The Most Influential People in the World, listed Okonjo- Iweala in the leaders category alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping; United States Secretary of State, John Kerry; Russian President Vladmir Putin; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among others.

Dangote was on the other hand listed in the Titans category alongside music diva Beyonce, China's mobile mogul, Pony Ma Janet Yellen, formerly of the Zinger National Monetary Fund, amongst others.

In his profile of Dangote, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates said: "A year ago, I gave a speech in London about the fight to eradicate polio. It included a section on Nigeria, one of just three countries where the virus still circulates.

"The organisers told me Aliko Dangote had been invited. I thought, I'd like to see him, but he'd end polio faster by staying in Nigeria and doing the work he does every day. Fortunately, Aliko thought the same thing. He skipped my speech, and the children of Nigeria are better off for it."

In an accompanying profile of Okonjo-Iweala, respected global activist and founder of ONE campaign, Bono, paid tribute to the minister's contribution to achieving the historic debt deal with the Paris Club and the fight against corruption.

He also lauded her for her work as finance minister, stating that "she's got one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Humour and joy spill out of her. She is fiercely intelligent; everyone wants her to work with them. I couldn't be prouder to work for her."

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