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Okonjo-Iweala named among Time’s 100 most influential people

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has, on Wednesday, been named in Time Magazine’s latest 100 Most Influential People for 2021.

Okonjo-Iweala was named alongside the United States President, Mr. Joe Biden. and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan.

Other leaders who made the list are the United States Vice President, Kamala Harris, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.


Others include Naomi Osaka, Britney Spears, Angelique Kidjo, Donald Trump and Elon Musk.

Writing about Okonjo-Iweala, Prince Harry and Meghan said:

“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access.”

“Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energizing. This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms.

“Our hope is that guided by strong leaders like Ngozi, we can get there soon.”

The Time Magazine’s list recognises people whose ideas, example, talent, or discoveries transform the world we live in.

Okonjo-Iweala served previously as Nigeria’s finance minister, first under the President Olusegun Obasanjo government – from 2003 to 2006 – and later in President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration between 2003 and 2006.

She later became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, from June to August 2006.

In March 2021, she emerged as the first woman and African to lead the WTO, a landmark development that has continued to earn her accolades globally.