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Nigeria’s Former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 African of the Year award.
The Forbes Africa-CNBC award is the latest honour clinched by the multi award winning development economist and former Managing Director of the World Bank.
Reacting to the news, Okonjo-Iweala, expressed her delight at the recognition and dedicated the award to Africans facing the health and socio-economic challenges of Covid-19 during a very difficult year.
“It is a great honour to serve Africa in different capacities.” said Okonjo-Iweala, who was one of the African Union Special Envoys appointed to mobilize international support for Africa’s efforts to address the Covid-19 economic fallout. “I look forward to deploying my energies at the WTO for Africa and the world”.
The award comes weeks after her name was submitted as the World Trade Organisation’s Director General designate – the candidate who has garnered the most support to head the organization.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala emerged the overwhelming choice of WTO member-countries following a keenly contested race in which she got the majority support of the 164 member countries.
She is also the World Health Organisation (WHO) Special Envoy for the newly inaugurated Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator and its offshoot the COVAX facility, an international collaboration aimed at accelerating the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests kits around the world with the specific objective of ensuring timely, affordable and equitable access to poor countries.
Okonjo-Iweala also serves as the Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public-private global health partnership that has immunised 760 million children in developing countries and saved 13 million lives.