This year's lecture will be given by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian Finance Minister and Chair of the World Bank Development Committee. Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one of only two female Finance Ministers in the world and controls the finances of a nation of over 130 million people in a country which is almost the size of Western Europe.
In her current post Dr Okonjo-Iweala has re-negotiated Nigeria’s debt burden with the World Bank and implemented dramatic economic and social reforms which are
already combating corruption, improving transparency, and turning the economy around. In the context of Britain’s leadership of the G8 Group and the Commission for Africa’s report, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s lecture is particularly timely and important. Prior to her appointment as the Federal Republic’s Finance Minister, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was an economist, corporate secretary and Vice-president of the World Bank Group where she spent more than 20 years of her career. She also served as an Economic Advisor to President Obasanjo of Nigeria.
The Nigerian national graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University and earned a PhD in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a widely traveled financial expert has written several papers for development journals
around the world. The most recent is entitled “The Impact of the East Asian Financial Crisis on Laos and Cambodia”, which she co-authored with colleagues from the
Other works by Dr Okonjo include: “The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy”, of which she is a co-editor; and “Teacher of Light”, a coauthored
biography of the famous Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala sits on the board of several foundations and non-governmental organizations at home and abroad and is the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the Euromarket Forum Award for vision and courage