Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Global Development Leader and Advocate

Vital Voices affirms the acknowledgements and votes of confidence bestowed onto Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during her candidacy for World Bank President.

With Christine Lagarde at the helm of the IMF and an Okonjo-Iweala World Bank Presidency, two women will lead the world’s most powerful economic institutions, shaping economic policy that can impact generations to come in unprecedented ways.

Vital Voices has had a valuable partnership with the World Bank over the past decade, and we are also privileged to have known Dr. Ngozi for many years. We honored her in 2006 as a Vital Voices Global Leadership Award Honoree for her work to advance women’s economic opportunity. (Dr. Ngozi is pictured, above, with then-Senator Hillary Clinton at the 2006 Awards presentation.) Since then, she has served as a Vital Voices board member (now Emeritus) and advisor; her invaluable advice has helped to shape our economic empowerment work in Africa.

Africa is poised to emerge as a leader in economic growth, political and social development, with six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies and an increasing vocal and strong civil society. Yet vast inequality threatens Africa’s potential, with women in sub-Saharan Africa facing the most extreme levels of gender inequality in the world. 

In her previous and current position as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, and as Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr. Ngozi has stood firmly and loudly against corruption and for increased accountability and transparency, even to the point of being threatened with violence.

We know that women leaders have a unique experience, perspective and understanding of what is necessary for economic, social and political development, and Dr. Ngozi embodies this.

As we continue to promote the participation and support the success of women in leadership, and support efforts to remove barriers to women’s inequality, it is rewarding to see such a fearless and compassionate champion supported worldwide with endorsements from Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, the African Union, as well as The Financial Times, Forbes and The Economist.

We look forward to Dr. Ngozi’s continued success, and we hope that the world’s decisionmakers continue to support and affirm her leadership of this key global institution.

Read more about Dr. Ngozi's nomination: 

Vanguard: WIMBIZ backs Okonjo-Iweala for World Bank job

Voice of America: Nigeria FM called 'Africa's Candidate' for World Bank President

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