Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was recognized and honoured “for her uncommon courage and capacity to deliver on the economy and leadership, in a very difficult environment.”
Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was on Tuesday named the winner of the prestigious David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award.
Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, was named alongside Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Unilever and Governor of the State of Para, Brazil, Simao Jatene.
Ms. Okonjo-Iweala joined a long list of high profile personalities that have been honoured with the award in the past.
They include late South African President, Nelson Mandela; former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Anan; former President of the United States, Bill Clinton; and foremost British Entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson.
Others are Her Royal Majesty, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan; American investor and Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates; President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirlea; and former World Bank President, James Wolfenson.
The only other Nigerian who had previously received the award for her decades-long work on women empowerment was Bisi Fayemi, the wife of Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi.
Organisers of the award said Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was recognized and honoured “for her uncommon courage and capacity to deliver on the economy and leadership, in a very difficult environment.”
The award was organised as part of the Synergos Institute University for a Night series, which brought together leaders from diverse backgrounds in business, government and civil society to discuss innovative ways of addressing global problems.
Synergos is a group of leading philanthropists that look at issues affecting the world, such as unleashing the leadership capacity of young people; changing the lives of women and girls; women’s health and social justice; improving governance to meet human needs; overcoming violence and sustaining peace.
Founded in 1986 by Peggy Rockefeller Dulany, who serves as the Chair, the organization supports initiatives in more than 30 countries of the world and regions.
It has staff and representatives in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The award was presented to Ms. Okonjo-Iweala by Ms. Dulany.