DR MRS OBIAGELI EZEKWESILI
Dr. Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili is a magnificent woman, a great mother, Role model, Mentor, astute leader and an agent of Change who has made and continues to make impact nationally and globally.
She holds a bachelors degree from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and two Masters Degrees. The first in International Law and diplomacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the second in Public Policy and Administration from the Kennedy school of Government, Harvard University. In May 2012, Dr Mrs Ezekwesili was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSC) degree by the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria.
Dr. Mrs Ezekwesili has had a sterling career beginning with her job as a trainee Accountant in Deloitte and Touché . In her time with Deloitte and Touché, she qualified as a chartered accountant and has gone on to handle several responsibilities in the public and private sectors including top level management positions.
She worked for the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Obasanjo’s administration. First she worked as the pioneer head of the budget monitoring and price intelligence unit. Here she was able to bring sanity to public procurement and contracting at the Federal level in Nigeria.
Following her superb work at the Budget monitoring and Price intelligence Unit, she was appointed as Minister of Solid Minerals (Mines and Steel) in June 2005. She spearheaded the reforms in that sector which gained Nigeria global recognition as a credible mining investment destination. She was also the Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). Dr. Mrs Ezekwesili led the first ever national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sector and orchestrated the legislation for Bureau of Public Procurement, the NEITI legislation and the new Minerals and Mining legislation during her time.
She was then appointed as the Minister of Education. She made a lot of strategic reforms and injected new innovations into the educational system in the country. She was the Minister of Education until her appointment at as Vice President, Africa Region at the World Bank. As vice-president she was in charge of the bank’s operations in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and supervised a lending portfolio of over $40 billion and in In 2012, she successfully completed her assignment.
Before working for the Government of Nigeria, Dr Mrs Ezekwesiili worked with Professor Jeffrey Sachs at the Centre for International development at Harvard.
Dr. Mrs Ezekweseli was recently, a Senior Advisor on Africa Economic Development Policy at the Open Society Foundations, New York assisting the Mano River governments with economic policy reforms. She now runs the fully incubated and independent policy advisory initiative as the Senior Economic Adviser to a number of presidents on the continent of Africa while at the same time developing a graduate school of public policy in Abuja, Nigeria.
Dr Mrs Ezekwesili has served as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Program in Boston and Abuja. And currently serves on a number of global boards including two schools of public policy in Tel Aviv University and Central European University School of Public Policy, Budapest and a center for global leadership at Tufts University.
Dr. Mrs.Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili or Aunty Oby as her teeming fans call her co-founded the global anti-corruption group, Transparency International. She was also one of their pioneer directors. After the abduction of the Chibok school girls she became a major advocate and Champion of the “Bring Back Our Girls campaign” to find the 300 Nigerian school girls abducted by Boko Haram. Aunty Oby also uses the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) advocacy group to draw global attention to the plight of all persons who have been abducted by terrorists from Nigeria’s war ravaged northeast region.
Aunty Oby’s life and work has been notably characterised by transparency and accountability. Her patriotism, and passion for her country Nigeria despite the political and economic climate is amazing. Her disdain for corruption as a public office holder in Nigeria earned her the appellation of ‘Madam due process’ . Her firm belief in the dignity and civil rights of others is worthy of note.
Aunty Oby’s strong desire to see a better nation has led her to join the presidential race and she has emerged as the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria.
Aunty Oby’s integrity, Resilience, simplicity , passion and patriotic spirit makes her our Woman crush this Wednesday.