Nigerian development economist and financial expert, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has yet again bagged another appointment after she was named a Special Envoy into the newly inaugurated Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator by global health ruling body, the World Health Organization (WHO). The former Nigerian finance minister is to work in her new position alongside British business executive, Andrew Witty, with the major aim of mobilizing international commitment towards the initiative. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, made Ngozi’s appointment public during the launch of the ACT Accelerator via webinar from Geneva, Switzerland.
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I would especially like to thank Sir Andrew Witty and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for agreeing to act as Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator–Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
The ACT Accelerator is an international collaboration charged with the major task of accelerating the development, production, and ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 drugs, tests kits, and vaccines all over the world.Ngozi’s appointment comes just few weeks after world leading financial institution, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, named her a member of its External Advisory Group-a team of prominent individuals around the world with the major aim of serving as special advisers to the organization’s Managing Director. This new appointment means the world renowned economist has gotten four international appointments in less than two months.
It will be recalled that on March 7, 2020, the Nigerian was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa into the country’s Economic Advisory Council, a group which is made up of indigenous and international economic experts to help solve the country’s economic problems. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala on April 12, 2020, was also appointed by the African Union, AU, as one of its four Special Envoys charged with the responsibility of mobilizing global support towards efforts aimed at addressing the corona virus pandemic. Ngozi’s role as a Special Envoy with the AU will see her alongside three others solicit support from the G20, the European Union, EU, and other leading world financial institutions, towards the AU’s response to the pandemic.
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While the world continues battling the corona virus pandemic, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s recent appointments comes hardly as a surprise because over the years, she has worked really hard to earn the status of one of the most prominent persons in the world. A well-respected and reputable economic and development expert, Mrs. Iweala among other appointments, has held the position of the Managing Director of the World Bank where she spent 25 years as a development economist, currently sits on the Boards of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Twitter, Standard Chartered Bank, and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).
A patriotic Nigerian, she served two terms as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. In her efforts towards seeing to Nigeria’s economic stability, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club, which led to the wiping out of US$30 billion Nigeria debt, inclusive of an outright cancellation of US$18 billion, during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
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