Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, has been recognized as the most influential woman in Africa according to Forbes, News About Nigeria reports.
Forbes, a prominent international business magazine, released its annual list of “The World’s Most Powerful Women” on Tuesday, placing Okonjo-Iweala at the 87th position.
This marks the second consecutive year that Okonjo-Iweala has been featured on Forbes’ prestigious list, having secured the 91st position in the 2022 rankings.
An economist and international development expert with over three decades of experience across continents, Okonjo-Iweala made history in March 2021 as the first woman and African to assume the role of Director-General of the WTO.
In her capacity as the head of the WTO, Okonjo-Iweala has earned acclaim for her leadership in addressing critical global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and the growing threat of trade protectionism.
She has consistently advocated for leveraging trade to uplift developing nations out of poverty and foster sustainable development.
Earlier in her illustrious career, Okonjo-Iweala served two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006 and 2011–2015, and briefly acted as the country’s Foreign Minister in 2006.
Forbes’ “The World’s Most Powerful Women” list considers various factors such as wealth, influence, and impact.
Okonjo-Iweala secured her place ahead of other prominent African women, including South African businesswoman Mpumi Madisa, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, and Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu.
The top spot for the most powerful woman in the world for 2023 was awarded to Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, recognised for impactful policy and budgetary decisions influencing the lives of 450 million people across Europe.
The European Central Bank President, Christine Lagarde, claimed the second position, followed closely by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in third place, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the fourth spot.