With life comes purpose; we are each created to fulfill a certain purpose and to change our world for the better. Some have taken it upon themselves to affect their world positively; Oby Ezekwesili is one of those people.
Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili was born on April 28, 1963 and holds a master’s degree in International Law from the University of Lagos. She is an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government, holding a master’s degree in Public Administration. She later qualified as a chartered accountant after training with the firm of Bootyeloitte and Touche.
Six things you should know about Oby
Oby Ezekwesili was a ‘two-time Minister.
“Aunty Oby”, as she is fondly called, was a two-time Minister; first the Minister of Solid Minerals (Mines and Steel) and then later, the Minister of Education in June 2005 and June 2006 respectively.
During her tenure as Minister of Solid Minerals, Nigeria’s mining sector experienced a turn-around and earned for itself a global positive outlook, and was recognised as a credible mining investment destination. Oby also led the first national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sector.
Oby’s sobriquet is “Mama Due Process”.
She earned herself this sobriquet during her leadership tenure at the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence, which is also known as ‘Due Process Unit’. Her outstanding work led to the birth of that nickname.
She was the pioneer head of a team of professionals in sanitizing procurement and contracting at the Federal level in Nigeria during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Thence, she was the brain behind the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) legislation — being the Chairperson — and the new Minerals and Mining legislation.
Oby was the Vice-Chairman of World’s Bank Africa Division.
After her tenure as the Minister of Education in 2007, she was appointed World Bank’s Vice-Chairman for the Africa Division, a role she occupied from May 2007 to May 2012. She oversaw the operations of the bank in 48 Sub-Saharan African countries, supervising a lending portfolio of over $40 billion.
Oby co-founded an anti-corruption group. ‘
Transparency International’ is a global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany; she served as one of its pioneer directors. She advises nine reform-committed heads of states in Africa as a senior economic advisor for Open Society. This group was co-founded by George Soros.
Oby serves as a director on the board of several companies.
She is on board with Airtel, the Center for Global Leadership at Tufts University; Word Wildlife Fund (WWF); the Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy; the School of Public Policy of Central European University; and New African Magazine
Oby was actively involved in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign (which trended with the hash tag #BBOG).
She played major roles in increasing the campaign’s presence on social media platforms. She urged Nigerian citizens to, not only be active on the social media space but also physically, to ensure that the abducted Chibok girls were released.
Oby’s dress sense is purely African; her suits and dresses are made from African fabrics.
Feature image photo credit: naijanews.com
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This article was first published on 12th March 2018