Former World Bank Vice President and top contender for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation(WTO), Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2020.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was the former Minister of Finance, has joined the elite list of accomplished Africans to have received the award.
Forbes Africa tweeted on Tuesday, saying, ‘The 2020 #AfricanOftheYear Award honoree is…Congratulations to Dr @NOIweala! Board Chair @Gavi; Board Chair @ARCapacity, gracing the cover of @forbesafrica.’
Okonjo-Iweala got ‘the award because of her advocacy and determination in making COVID-19 Vaccine available and accessible to all.’
Excited about the prestigious award, Okonjo-Iweala tweeted: ‘Thrilled to be named Forbes Africa ‘2020 African of the Year’ following in the footsteps of my great brothers Paul Kagame and Akin Adesina.’
She dedicated it to everyone, who has been affected directly or indirectly by COVID-19 pandemic.
‘This award is for fellow Africans suffering the health & economic impact of Covid19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspires me!’
Other Nigerians who have bagged the award include the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Muhammad Sanusi II and President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote amongst others.
By this honour, Okonjo-Iweala, adorns the cover page of the magazine’s current edition.
Okonjo-Iweala, according to Forbes, is credited with developing reform programs that helped improve governmental transparency and stabilizing the economy.’
‘She helped Nigeria’s economy, the largest in Africa, grow an average of 6percent (per annum) over three years.’
‘Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman to be the finance minister and the foreign minister of the West African country with a GDP of $502 billion.’