The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been ranked as the most powerful woman in Africa on Forbes.
In its 20th annual ranking released on Tuesday, Forbes showcased a diverse array of influential figures, spanning CEOs, entertainers, politicians, philanthropists, and policymakers.
According to the rankings, Ms Okonjo-Iweala, a prominent Nigerian, is positioned at 87th place in the Most Powerful Women in the world list, surpassing Mpumi Madisa, a South African businesswoman at 88th.
Joining this distinguished list are Tanzanian President, Samia Hassan at the 93rd spot and Nigerian media mogul and philanthropist, Mo Abudu at 98th.
The most powerful woman in the world for 2023 was bestowed upon Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission for impactful policy and budgetary decisions that wield significant influence, shaping the lives of 450 million people across Europe.
Christine Lagarde holds the second position as the European Central Bank President, steering Europe’s monetary policy during a period of elevated inflation.
Following closely is U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris in third place, with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni securing the fourth spot.
Ọkọnjọ-Iweala’s array of accomplishments
In the 2022 ranking, the 69-year-old secured number 91 as one of Forbes’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women as a result of her continuous role in providing financial assistance and promoting global trade as the threat of a global recession rises.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and international development professional with more than 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.
In March 2021, she became the first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
The mother of four believes in the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty and help them achieve sustainable development.
Earlier in her career, she had two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, from 2003-2006 and 2011-2015; she also briefly acted as foreign minister in 2006.
She was also Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that has immunised 760 million children globally.
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