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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a staunch believer in ‘an Africa capable of achieving its development’: tribute by ACBF

23 Mar, 2021

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) welcomes with great satisfaction, the election of the former Chair of its Board of Governors Dr. Ngozi OKONJO-IWEALA, as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s assignment comes as ACBF marks 30 years of existence and service in capacity development on the continent. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served in the leadership of the Foundation as Governor of ACBF for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2003-2006 in her portfolio as the Minister of Finance in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Cabinet and Chair of the Board of Governors at ACBF in 2011-2014 while serving as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy in President Goodluck Jonathan’s Cabinet.

As Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala persuaded her peers to take their financial contribution to ACBF to another level, repeatedly calling on them to scale up their support to ACBF to enable it to achieve its mandate of developing Africa’s human and institutional capacity for sustainable development. As a Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was instrumental in the World Bank’s support to the implementation of ACBF’s 2009-2010 Reform Agenda.  

“The Foundation welcomes with excitement and hope, the election of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the WTO,” says Prof. Emmanuel NNADOZIE, Executive Secretary of ACBF, adding that: “Her election could not have come at a better time for Africa and the World. Her vision for both global and African continental trade inspires hope for the continent. ACBF looks forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the WTO, under Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership, for building capacity for Africa’s increased participation in the global economy and the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Furthermore, in her vision for the WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that a rejuvenated WTO must take on fresh challenges, such as ensuring optimal complementarity between trade and the environment and ensuring that WTO rules best respond to the realities of e-commerce, the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy. These are additional areas in which ACBF would seek partnership with the WTO, areas whose urgency for Africa has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As she has done everywhere she served, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will, without any doubt, competently steer the world’s trade agenda in the right direction. ACBF wishes her a resounding success at the helm of global trade.

Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana