Nigeria’s former Finance Minister and a candidate for the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2020.
Forbes Africa announced this on Tuesday via a post on its official handle @forbesafrica.
“The 2020 #AfricanOftheYear Award honoree is…Congratulations to Dr. @NOlweala! Board Chair @Gavi; Board Chair @ARCapicity, gracing the cover of @forbesafrica,” the tweet read.
Okonjo-Iweala in response said she is thrilled to be honoured and to be following the footsteps of her brothers Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Nigeria’s Femi Adesina.
“Thrilled to be named @forbesafrica-CNBC 2020 African of the Year following in the footsteps of my great Brothers @PaulKagame and @akin_adesina,” the 66-year-old said.
Okonjo-Iweala also dedicated the award to fellow Africans facing the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This award is for fellow Africans suffering the health & economic impact of Covid19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspire me!” she added.
Okonjo-Iweala’s joined the list of eminent Africans to have received the award.
In 2019, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), won the award for his outstanding work at the bank and a sterling career in agriculture and finance.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda won the same prize in 2018.
Other eminent Nigerians to have bagged the award are Muhammad Sanusi II (2011), former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Aliko Dangote (2014), president of the Dangote Group.
Sanusi won the first edition in 2011, Adesina has claimed the gong twice — 2013 and 2019, while Okonjo-Iweala is also the first Nigerian woman to be honoured