This year marks the 3rd annual instalment of the African of the Year Award; an honorary category of the annual All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA™), which is in its landmark 10th year.
The recipient of the 2020 African of the Year Award is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Just like the two winners before her, she graces the December 2020 / January 2021 cover of FORBES AFRICA, unveiled during a special broadcast on CNBC Africa last night.
Whilst the show could not be celebrated with a live in-person event this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers, the ABN Group, still honoured the African of the Year, virtually, for the first time.
The award accords the distinction to a change-maker who has demonstrated true leadership excellence, has a prominent presence on the world stage, and whose influence has played a significant role in Africa’s development.
The Nigerian-born globally-renowned economist and development expert have served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister; she is the first woman to hold this position. Dr Okonjo-Iweala also held several key positions with and rose to prominence as the Managing Director of the World Bank. Her relentless efforts to make vaccines available to poor countries and enable equal access to the Covid-19 vaccine makes her a formidable role model.
She has previously been listed as one of Transparency International’s Anti-Corruption Fighters Who Inspire, made the list for Fortune’s 50 Greatest World Leaders, was nominated as one of Forbes’ Top 10 Most Influential Women in Africa, and announced as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME magazine in 2014.
With multiple awards and honours to her name, Dr Okonjo-Iweala has risen to the top as one of the most respected leaders in Africa. She was also on FORBES AFRICA’s list of ‘Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women’ published early this year. Dr Okonjo-Iweala is also a front-runner for the top post of Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
Reacting to the news, she tweeted, “Thrilled to be named Forbes Africa-CNBC ‘2020 African of the Year’ following in the footsteps of my great brothers Paul Kagame and Akin Adesina.”
“This award is for fellow Africans suffering the health and economic impact of #Covid19. The energy and resilience of Africans inspire me!” she wrote.
Congratulations to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on winning this prestigious award. Keep up the great works.
This article was originally published on Further Africa.