Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former finance minister of Nigeria and the current director-general of the World Trade Organization, and the director Mo Abudu have been named among Forbes’ list of the most powerful women in the world in 2022.
Okonjo-Iweala and Abudu were ranked 91 and 99, respectively, on Forbes’ 19th annual list of the “100 Most Powerful Women 2022.”
They are the only Nigerians who made the list.
The list is a definitive survey of foremost CEOs and iconic entrepreneurs, pioneer philanthropists, and policymakers who are solving society’s most intractable problems.
Top of the list is the President, European Commission, European Union, Ursula von der Leyen.
Ursula spearheaded a 750-million-euro Covid relief bill in 2020 and, in 2022, became one of the West’s staunchest supporters of Ukraine amid Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
Forbes described Okojo-Iweala as “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 Organization.
Okonjo-Iweala was also the Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that has immunised 760 million children globally.
“An economist and international development professional, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has more than 30 years of experience working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America,” the magazine said.
“In March 2021, she became first woman and the first African to serve as Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
“She has said she believes in the power of trade to lift developing countries out of poverty help them achieve sustainable development.
“Earlier in her career, Okonjo-Iweala 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 immunized 760 million children globally.”
It also described Mo Abudu as one of the most powerful women in global media.
“Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu is one of the most powerful women in global media,” Forbes said.
“In 2006, Abudu started Ebonylife TV, a network that now airs in more than 49 countries across Africa, as well as in the UK and the Caribbean.
“Over the years, EbonylifeTV has struck major partnership deals with Sony Pictures Television, AMC Networks and Netflix.
“The deal with Netflix marked the first time an African media company signed a multi-title film and TV agreement with the streaming giant.
“Abudu was born in London but sent by her parents to live with her grandmother in Nigeria when she was 7; she returned to Britain four years later.”
Okonjo-Iweala and Abudu also made the Forbes’ list of 100 most powerful women last year, coming at numbers 91 and 98 respectively.