On April 19, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, for a discussion on current challenges to economic development and the changing role of international financial institutions. As the African Union’s nominee for president of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had a unique vision for global development, prioritizing job creation and economic diversification, as well as policies that enable youth and empower women.
Minister Okonjo-Iweala is currently in her second term as Nigeria’s finance minister. In this role, she has implemented economic reforms which resulted in sustained national growth rates and nearly $18 billion of national debt relief. Before her appointment as finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala served for nearly 21 years as a development economist at the World Bank and ultimately held the position of managing director, where she was instrumental in supporting the bank’s reform agenda.
Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of Global Economy and Development at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. After the program, Minister Okonjo-Iweala took audience questions. Brookings Senior Fellow Mwangi Kimenyi, director of the Africa Growth Initiative, moderated.
Participants followed the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #AGINgozi.