Okonjo-Iweala Bags New Africa Union Appointment

Former Nigerian Minister of Finance and renowned economist, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed as a Special Envoy of the African Union to mobilize international support to cushion the effect of COVID-19 Pandemic in the continent.

Her appointment was announced by President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa who doubles as the Chairperson of the African Union.

Others also appointed are Dr Donald Kaberuka, Mr Tidjane Thiam and Mr Trevor Manuel.

The Special Envoys will be tasked with soliciting rapid and concrete support as pledged by the G20, the European Union and other international financial institutions.

Their job will be to mobilise international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The African Union Chair said the appointment of the special envoys would expedite the process of securing economic support to enable countries on the continent to respond swiftly to this grave public health emergency.

President Ramaphosa added that the envoys brought with them a wealth of experience and enjoyed longstanding relationships in the international financial community.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is an internationally respected economist and development expert and served two terms as Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She has also served as Managing Director of the World Bank.

Dr Kaberuka is an economist and former President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He is the former Finance Minister of Rwanda and in 2016 was appointed as a Special Envoy of the African Union on sustain-able financing for the AU and funding for Peace in Africa.

Mr Manuel was the longest-serving Minister of Finance in the Republic of South Africa and formerly headed the country’s National Planning Commission. In 2018 he was appointed as an Investment Envoy by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to engage domestic and international investors as part of the country’s national investment drive.

Mr Thiam is a banker and businessman. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse and also served as Chief Financial Officer and CEO of Prudential. He also has a background in management consulting and worked for McKinsey and Company.

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