Nigeria is undoubtedly blessed to have Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is one of the most successful female personalities in this era. She has proved her worth in several capacities and she has now a beacon to women's empowerment around the world. She’s not just a career woman but also a wife, mother, and grandmother who has created a balance for her work and home. The spotlight has been on her since her appointment as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization. So, in this article Naijauto will be revealing some interesting facts about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala net worth, biography, cars, houses, and amazing career. We will carry on the journey of how she went from being Nigeria's former Finance Minister to occupying one of the most vital and powerful roles in the world economy.
1. Who is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala?
Doctor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the current Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She's a Nigerian-American economist, global finance expert, and international development professional. She has over 30 years of experience in working with international and governmental organizations in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and North America. As the seventh DG, she's the first woman and first African to head the WTO.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman and first African to head the WTO
Let's start by talking about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala education.
She had her primary education at Queen's School in Enugu. For her secondary school education, she attended St Anne's School and International School, all in Ibadan, Oyo state. She proceeded to the US in 1973 where she studied at Harvard University. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1976. Going forward to 1981, she obtained a PhD in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. She also got support for her doctoral studies from the American Association of University Women (AAUM) through their international fellowship scheme.
The profile of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala boasts of several top positions she has occupied in different capacities, both in Nigeria and abroad. The Harvard-educated economist spent 25 years working with World Bank as a development economist. This saw her rising to the position of managing director there. On getting home to Nigeria, she served twice as Minister of Finance and then as Foreign Affairs Minister. She turned out to be the first woman in the country to hold both positions. She was a Finance Minister under Olusegun Obasanjo's government from 2003-2006. But in 2005, she was named the Global Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney. Her reappointment as a Finance Minister took place in 2011, under President Good luck Jonathan.
In addition to the positions she held in government, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was part of the Growth Commission board led by Professor Micheal Spence from 2006-2009. In 2012, she co-headed the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. After her stint with the government, she went on to become a member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity from 2015-2016. She was also one of the Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which was set up by Central Bank Governors and G20 Finance Ministers.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been one of the team players of UNESCO's International Commission on the Futures of Education since 2019. Back in the year 2020, she was appointed to an external advisory group by the International Monetary Fund. She was also made a special envoy by the African Union, to ask for international support to help Africa deal with the economic effect of COVID-19.
The Director-General has occupied several top positions in different capacities
In June 2020, Okonjo-Iweala was a nominee for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). After the selection processes, she ended up competing at the final round with South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee. As grace would have it, Dr Okonjo-Iweala received the largest support from all geographical regions ahead of the voting date. This is coming even when the US government under Donald Trump refused to back her up. At the end of the voting process, Yoo Myung-hee withdrew from the race which left Okonjo-Iweala the only candidacy. She was then unanimously appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization on 15 February 2021. Her appointment commenced on 1 March 2021 and it is expected to expire on 31 August 2025. After starting her career, she has received more appointments to co-chair projects. In July 2021, she became part of the Multilateral Leaders Task Force on COVID-19 vaccines, Therapeutics, and Diagnostics for developing countries.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala achievements
When she was with World Bank, she championed several projects to assist low-income countries in 2010 to raise almost $50 billion through donors for International Development Association. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala left her family in Washington and her well-paying job at World Bank to come work for the country as a Finance Minister. In 2005, she led a team to negotiate for an $18 billion debt write-off. This helped Nigeria to obtain its first sovereign debt rating. Her economic reforms had an impact on the country during the critical period. A case in point is the delinking of the budget from oil price to enable the country to save money in another account when oil prices went up. It saw to the survival of the Nigerian economy between 2008-2009.
She was among the public office holders who have always displayed honesty, transparency, and accountability virtues in service. She introduced the newspaper publishing of monthly financial allocation given to states. She introduced a system that aided the removal of thousands of ghost workers and pensioners from the government payroll. In an interview, she stated that running an economy is like running a household. With this ideology, she keeps delivering on the job. And of course, this has earned her multiple recognitions and awards. In 2015, Fortune listed her as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders. Forbes mentioned her as the Top Three Most Powerful Women in Africa in 2012. She also made it to Conduct Nast International's list of 73 brilliant business influencers in the world. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is also a recipient of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in Nigeria.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala on her first day in office as DG of the World Trade Organization
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala books
Dr Okonjo-Iweala has several works to her credit. The books she authored include Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (2012), Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines (2018). As a TED speaker, she has given several talks. One of such is her January 2014 TEDxEuston talk titled Don't trivialize corruption, tackle it.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala quotes
With her vast experience in life and economic development. Dr Okonjo-Iweala has created quotes she's known for. Here are some of them.
- When it comes to doing my job, I keep my ego in my handbag.
- When you save the life of anyone, a farmer, a teacher, a mother, they are contributing productively to the economy.
- I can take hardship. I can sleep on the cold floor anytime. I can sleep on a feather bed.
1.1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala age
The DG was born on 13 June 1954 in Ogwashi Ukwu Nigeria. She is 67 years of age in 2021. As one whose birthplace is Ogwashi-Ukwu, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala state of origin is no other than Delta State. In 2019, she became a US citizen, having worked and studied there for decades
1.2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala family
The Director-General has a family and they are all based outside the country. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala husband is Ikemba Iweala, a neurosurgeon from Abia state. The couple has four children namely Onyinye Iweala, Uzodinma Iweala, Okechukwu Iweala, and Uchechi Iweala.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her husband Ikemba Iweala
Their marriage is blessed with three sons and a daughter
2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala net worth
Dr Okonjo-Iweala has occupied many international and local key positions and she's currently sitting on boards of companies. This is an indication that she's a successful and wealthy woman. According to sources, her estimated net worth falls between $1 million - $5 million (₦411million - ₦2.1billion).
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3. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala houses and cars
Having spent so many years in the United States, Dr Okonjo-Iweala and her husband have a home in Potomac Maryland near Washington DC. We believe she and her neurosurgeon husband also have houses in Nigeria.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala cars have rarely been pictured together with her. Notwithstanding, we got to see her alighting from a Mercedes-Benz S-Class on her first day at work as the DG of the World Trade Organization. This car has been found to be worth owning by world leaders and elites.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala inside her home in Washington
The DG was driven to her first day at work in a Mercedes-Benz car
4. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala charitable activities
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has always thrown in her support for women, especially in the area of training them for professional advancement. She believes that investing in women is smart economics and investing in girls, catching them young is even smarter economics. Aside from her work, Okonjo-Iweala has her own personal projects. She founded the first indigenous opinion research organization called NOI-Polls. She also founded a development research think-tank organization, Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, Abuja. Presently, she sits on boards of several organizations such as Twitter, Standard Chartered Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, African Risk Capacity, and Georgetown Institute for Women among others.
5. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala latest news
Just seven months into her job as the DG, there’re speculations that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is considering resignation to run for the 2023 Presidency. However, she debunked the news stating that she has no interest. She’s enjoying her current job as she keeps working towards achieving more success in her career.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is enjoying her work and position as the head of WTO
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's story is an inspiration for more women to participate in building the economy. We can't wait to have more women take up leadership positions in top organizations and more. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoyed reading about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala net worth, biography, cars, houses, and amazing career.
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