Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Okonjo-Iweala in 2008

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born June 13, 1954 in Ogwashi Ukwu , Delta State , Nigeria ) is a Nigerian politician . She was elected Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on February 15, 2021 . She will take up office on March 1st. Since 2015 she has also been CEO of the Gavi vaccine alliance . From 2003 to 2006 she was Nigeria's finance and economy minister, from June to August 2006 foreign minister and from 2011 to 2015 again finance minister of the country.


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has also had US citizenship since 2019, studied at Harvard University (graduated in 1977 magna cum laude ) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Before becoming a minister, Okonjo-Iweala worked for the World Bank as a development economist for 21 years . There she rose to Vice President and Corporate Secretary.

In July 2003 she was appointed by Olusegun Obasanjo to the office of Nigerian Minister of Finance and Economy. She held this position until June 2006. Okonjo-Iweala then moved to the office of Foreign Minister for two months.

On October 4th, 2007, the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick , announced that Okonjo-Iweala would return to work for the World Bank as Managing Director on December 1st, 2007.

In 2011 she was again Nigerian Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Goodluck Jonathan . Shortly after she was sworn in, WikiLeaks published reports that she illegally let a brother named Jon-Jon get a $ 50 million contract in 2004. Okonjo-Iweala denied the allegations and denies the existence of a brother named Jon-Jon.

In March 2012 it was announced that Okonjo-Iweala is running to succeed the outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick. However, it could not prevail against the favored US health expert Jim Yong Kim (the former Colombian finance minister José Antonio Ocampo had withdrawn his candidacy shortly before the decision of the World Bank Executive Council).

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a press conference on the selection process for the WTO Director General (2020)

Okonjo-Iweala is an experienced negotiator. In early 2021, she succeeded Roberto Azevêdo against the only remaining competitor Yoo Myung-hee for the post of General Director of the World Trade Organization. Yoo was still supported by US President Donald Trump , but under the new US President Joe Biden , the United States switched to Okonjo-Iweala, which had already been supported by all other WTO member states. Yoo then withdrew her candidacy.

On February 15, 2021, Okonjo-Iweala was the only remaining candidate to be unanimously elected as the new Secretary General by the WTO ambassadors of all member states. She will take this post at a time of grave internal WTO crisis caused by differences between the United States, China and the European Union.


Okonjo-Iweala is married and has four children. One of her children is the author Uzodinma Iweala . She has also been a citizen of the United States since 2019 .


Web links

Commons : Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Message on the World Bank website , accessed October 17, 2007
  2. ^ Katrin Gänsler: Wikileaks scandal about finance minister. In: the daily newspaper . September 16, 2011, accessed September 19, 2011 .
  3. Successor to Zoellick nominated: American Kim becomes the new head of the World Bank ( Memento from April 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at, March 16, 2012 (accessed on March 16, 2012).
  4. a b c Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed as the new head of the WTO. In: February 15, 2021, accessed February 15, 2021 .
  5. Reuters : Final WTO talks under way on selecting new leader, delegates say , February 8, 2021.
  6. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung : Nigerian Okonjo-Iweala now head of the WTO , February 15, 2021.
  7. US backs Okonjo-Iweala, first woman and African, to head WTO Politico from February 5, 2021
  8. ^ Forbes Africa: Africa's 50 Most Powerful Women. In: Forbes Africa. March 6, 2020, accessed January 30, 2021 (American English).