The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi-Okonjo-Iwela has been listed among TIME’s magazine’s most influential people for 2021.
Iweala was named on Wednesday alongside US President Joe Biden, Angelique Kidjo, and the Duke and Duchess of Susses, Prince Harry and Meghan.
The list recognizes “people whose ideas, example, talent, or discoveries transform the world we live in”.
The former Nigeria’s minister was named in the leaders’ category alongside US Vice President, Kamala Harris; Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Others who made the TIME’s list include Naomi Osaka, Britney Spears, Donald Trump and Elon Musk
“As we face a constant barrage of vaccine misinformation, bureaucratic slowdowns across both government and industry, and the rise of variants that underscore the urgency of the situation, Okonjo-Iweala has shown us that to end the pandemic, we must work together to equip every nation with equitable vaccine access,” Prince Harry and Meghan wrote about Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance.
“Our conversations with her have been as informative as they are energizing. This is partly because, despite the challenges, she knows how to get things done—even between those who don’t always agree—and does so with grace and a smile that warms the coldest of rooms.”
The couple explained that with about a quarter of the world vaccinated against COVID-19 and the globe experiencing fragility at the moment, achieving vaccine equity is a “global duty of compassion for one another.
“Our hope is that guided by strong leaders like Ngozi, we can get there soon.”
Okonjo- Iweala served as Minister of Finance under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 2003-2006 and later served as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration between 2011-2015.
She was elected to lead the WTO earlier in the year- March 2021.