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Melinda Gates: Okonjo-Iweala has made a difference everywhere she’s been

Melinda Gates: Okonjo-Iweala has made a difference everywhere she’s been
March 09
06:19 2021

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has made a difference everywhere she has worked. 

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In her International Women’s Day 2021 tribute, Gates said Okonjo-Iweala helped Nigeria establish itself as the largest and strongest economy in Africa.

“Another woman leading on the global economic stage is economist and international development expert Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,” Gates wrote on LinkedIn.

“As the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization—the first woman and the first African to hold the post—Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will play an important role in bringing countries together to drive an inclusive economic recovery.

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“Everywhere she’s been, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has made a difference for people. During her two stints as finance minister, Nigeria established itself as the largest and strongest economy in Africa.

“During her time chairing the board of Gavi, the vaccine alliance launched Covax to help deliver 2 billion vaccine doses to people in low-and-middle-income countries regardless of their ability to pay.”

Here is a timeline on how Okonjo-Iweala became WTO DG.

The Gates Foundation boss said the former World Bank MD “is also a powerful voice on the topic of women’s leadership”.

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“One piece of advice she offers to aspiring leaders: ‘There’s no right way to be a woman leader. Be true to yourself.’

“She also urges women leaders to remember that the power of their example can help expand possibilities for the next generation. As she puts it: ‘Every woman who steps forward makes more space for the women who come next.'”

Gates also highlighted four other women who “are helping the world to rebuild better, healthier, and more equal”.

They are Joy Buolamwini, founder of Algorithmic Justice League; Ava DuVernay, writer, producer, director, and distributor of independent films; Gita Gopinath, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund; and Claire Cain Miller, a correspondent for The New York Times.

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