The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Thursday emerged the 81 “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” in a survey conducted by Forbes.
The finance minister who emerged in the politics category, was 87th in 2011. Only three African women were on the list. Okonjo-Iweala, according to the list obtained on the Forbes website was listed among Joyce Banda, President of Malawi (71) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s President (82).
The list was dominated by women from the United States. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor topped the list and she was closely followed by secretary of state Hilary Clinton with 59 others American which amongst others included Melinda Gates (4), Michelle Obama (7), Oprah Winfrey (11), Christiane Amanpour (53), Lady Gaga (14), Beyonce Knowles (32), Jennifer Lopez (38), Marissa Mayer – CEO Yahoo (21) and Sheryl Sandberge – COO Facebook (10).
In her reaction, in a chat with THISDAY, Okonjo Iweala said: “I thank God that this has come to Nigeria. I am happy about it for Nigeria and Africa.”
Other women of power on the list were President of Brazil, Dilma Roosseff (3), Sonia Gandhi, president, National Congress Party of India (6), Manging Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde (8), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina (16), Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma (19), Queen Elizabeth II of the UK (26), Julia Gillard, prime minister of Australia (27), Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister of Thailand (30) and Sri Mulvani Indrawati, MD World Bank (72).
The list also had Angela Braly CEO, WellPoint (24), 25. Susan Wojcicki Senior Vice-President, Google (25), Queen Elizabeth II Monarch, United Kingdom(26), Kathleen Sebelius Secretary, Department of Health and Human Service, United States (31), Beth Brooke Global Vice Chair - Public Policy, Ernst & Young (99) and Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani Chair, Qatar Museums Authority, Qatar (100)
“When Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, left the World Bank in 2011, where she was a managing director and the second-in-command, to become the finance minister of Nigeria, eyebrows were raised. So it was no surprise that she was on the short-list of candidates when the organisation conducted an international search for a new leader this April,” Forbes said.