Nigeria: Okonjo-Iweala Named First Female African of the Year

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
2 December 2020

The award seeks to honour leaders who have contributed and shaped the African economy.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been awarded the African of the Year Award by the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA), in recognition of her charge for the equitable distribution of the coveted Covid-19 vaccine in Africa when it arrives.

The award which seeks to honour leaders who have contributed and shaped the African economy is organised by AABLA in conjunction with CNBC Africa.

According to CNBC Africa, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was unveiled during a special broadcast on CNBC Africa on Monday.

"Who was the continent's most promising citizen, leading transformation and change on an international stage this year? Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala as the Chair of Gavi is leading the charge for the equitable distribution of the coveted Covid-19 vaccine in Africa when it arrives," the organisers wrote.

The 'African of the Year' is an honorary category of the annual AABLA. Marking its third annual installment, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is the first female to receive the award.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame was the first recipient of the African of the Year award in 2018, when the category was created, followed by the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, in 2019.

The global finance expert, economist, and international development professional, served twice as Nigeria's finance minister, from 2003-2006, and later between 2011 and 2015. She also served briefly as foreign minister in 2006.

She is chair of the Board of Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, which since its creation in 2000, has immunised 680 million children globally and saved 10 million lives.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is currently a front-runner for the top post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Reacting to the award through her official Twitter handle, she said "Thrilled to be named

@forbesafrica - CNBC 2020 African of the Year following in the footsteps of my great Brothers

@PaulKagame and @akin_adesina. This award is for fellow Africans suffering from the health & economic impact of Covid19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspires me!"

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