Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is a nigerian politician, and a Senior Adviser at Lazard. She spoke on the challenges of holding important political office in Nigeria, as a woman. She was renowned as the first female and African descent to contest as a candidate for the presidency of the World Bank Group in 2012.
She was the Managing Director of the World Bank (2007-2011). She served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015), and also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
She currently chairs the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala on Tuesday shared some of her experiences while in office, and the state of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking on an Aljazeera program-The Stream, she said as a woman, it is challenging to hold important political offices in Nigeria and Africa in General, especially that of a Finance Minister.
In her own words, “most times, you have to say NO, even to your boss”, and for a woman to wield such power and control such vital position is unacceptable in some African settings.”
“women are engaging more in politics , especially in countries like South Africa and Rwandan where there are good number of women in government. During our time in Nigeria, we had up to 35% of women in government, which we can see a very sharp difference in goverment today. We have a lot of amazing women all over Africa, and i hope they continue to make their impact felt in politics.”
“We need to refocus on the basics, like macro economic developement . During our time, we organized a program called YOU WIN, which aimed at elevating the youth and reduced unemployment.”
When asked about the state of Nigerian economy and current recession, she said it is better to leave the people that are currently managing the Nigerian economy to do what they promised to do, pointing out that there are solutions to the challenges facing the economy.
On working for Nigeria again, she said there are other credible hands, that can also manage the Nigerian economy.