Okonjo-Iweala Ranked Most Powerful Woman In Africa


By Kamsi Anayo with agency report

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, has been recognized as the most powerful woman in Africa in Forbes’ 20th annual ranking.

Released on Tuesday, the list spans diverse influential figures, including CEOs, entertainers, politicians, philanthropists, and policymakers.

Okonjo-Iweala secured the 87th spot on the prestigious Most Powerful Women in the World list, surpassing South African businesswoman, Mpumi Madisa, who held the 88th position.

The Tanzanian President, Samia Hassan, and Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu also earned spots on the list at 93rd and 98th, respectively.

Forbes identified Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, as the most powerful woman in the world for 2023. Von der Leyen is recognized for her impactful policy and budgetary decisions shaping the lives of 450 million people across Europe.

In the second position is Christine Lagarde, the European Central Bank President, steering Europe’s monetary policy during a period of elevated inflation.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris secured the third spot, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni holds the fourth position. The 2023 rankings highlight influential women making significant contributions on the global stage.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and international development professional, assumed the role of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation in March 2021.

As the first woman and first African to hold this position, she brings over 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Prior to her current role, Okonjo-Iweala served two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and briefly acted as foreign minister.

She also chaired the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, contributing to the immunization of 760 million children globally. 

Her commitment to the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty is central to her work and advocacy.


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