Times 100 names Okonjo-Iweala as one of its 2021 World’s Most Influential People

By Abimbola Mohammed

TIME100 franchise that recognizes 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future of entertainment, health, politics, business and more, has named Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO),  as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

According to Time’s Editor-in-Chief and CEO, Edward Felsenthal, the magazine chooses its most influential people by looking for “extraordinary leaders” who strive to make a better future.

“They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers, people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray,” Felsenthal wrote in the magazine.

Commenting on her win, Okonjo-Iweala said it’s a privilege to be on the cover of Time Magazine.

Her social media post read: “Honored and privileged to be on the cover of Time Magazine and to be recognized as one of the world’s Most Influential leaders! Profound thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their kind words. All Glory to God.”

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, wrote in the post accompanying Okonjo-Iweala’s selection: “What will it take to vaccinate the world? Unity, cooperation and leaders like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.”

Congratulating the DG in a LinkedIn post, Adebote Martins, Brand Marketing, British American Tobacco, urged her to continue in her hard work and humanity.

“Congratulations! DG WTO. You were created for a time like this. Please, continue to do more for humanity. Service to humanity is the best work of life. Reward for hard-work is more work, I am so proud of you and your family for a great job.”

In the same vein, Chidi Achebe, Founder, Chairman and CEO, AIDE- Africa wrote on LinkedIn: “Fabulously deserved, congratulations.”

Commenting on Twitter, Seth Berkley, CEO Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Geneva Switzerland, wrote: “Congratulations @NOIweala. It’s an honour thoroughly well-deserved and a fitting tribute to your leadership, vision and dedication. Thank you for all of your leadership at so many institutions, especially at Gavi & #COVAX.”

Fred Swaniker, Founder & CEO of the African Leadership Group also wrote to congratulate her in a post: “Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition. We’re all inspired by your hand work, your heart for people and your determination.”

Other Nigerian activists, advocates and philanthropists fighting for equality and justice on the list are: #EndSARS activists Feyikemi Abudu, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Damilola Odufuwa.

Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, assembled by the American news magazine, Time. First published in 1999 as the result of a debate among American academics, politicians, and journalists, the list is now a highly publicized annual event. Appearing on the list is often seen as an honour, and Time makes it clear that entrants are recognized for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions. The final list of influential individuals is exclusively chosen by Time editors, with nominations coming from the Time 100 alumni and the magazine’s international writing staff. Only the winner of the Reader’s Poll, conducted days before the official list is revealed, is chosen by the general public.


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