Former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Special Envoy for the newly inaugurated Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
The appointment comes weeks after the International Monetary Fund named Mrs Okonjo-Iweala a member of the fund’s External Advisory Group; her fourth international assignment in less than two months.
Reports suggest that the economist is to serve alongside British business executive, Andrew Witty, in the same capacity, which is to mobilise international commitment to the initiative.
Director-General of the organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, made this disclosure during the launch of the ACT Accelerator via webinar from Geneva.
According to Ghebreyesus:
I would especially like to thank Sir Andrew Witty and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for agreeing to act as Special Envoys for the ACT Accelerator.
The initiative is an international collaboration aimed at accelerating the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-18 drugs, tests kits, and vaccines around the world.
The group is to meet a few times a year, to provide perspectives on key developments and policy issues.
Meanwhile, on March 7, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa appointed her a member of the country’s Economic Advisory Council, which comprises indigenous and international economic experts. The council advises the president and government on the development and implementation of economic policies toward advancing inclusive growth.
Also, in March 2020, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, named Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as a member of a group of prominent individuals to serve as a new External Advisory Group.
Early April 2020, however, the Chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa, appointed Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and three other Africans as AU Special Envoys. Their duty will be to mobilise international support for Africa’s efforts to address the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.