In April 2014, in the pages of Time Magazine, Bono extolled the might and magnificence of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was, at the time, Nigeria’s finance minister — no easy task, whatsoever, since she’d been saddled with $30 billion debt. Fast-forward to February last year, and Okonjo-Iweala was again giving reasons for folks — high-profile rockstars or not — to speak her praises. She had just made history as the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization, in its 75-year history of the WTO.
Today the Nigerian-born, Harvard-educated powerhouse is one of Time’s 100 Most Influential Women, this, er, time for the goals she wants to achieve once she officially takes on the position next week. She joins the likes of Billie Eilish and Prince Harry and Meghan on the mag’s annual list. Okonjo-Iweala told Time she believes global trade can help with some of the biggest challenges facing our world, including the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. But, she also believes, that’s not going to happen without some reform within the organization. Hopefully, with someone of her stature and demeanour in place, all the things she aims to do, will get done — and our world will be better for it.