by Tunji Andrews
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Friday bagged the African Finance Minister of the year award for her outstanding performance as a finance minister. The award was presented to her by the African Investor Magazine on the sideline of the ongoing annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.
The Africa investor Awards are unique pan-African business and capital market investment awards that recognizes and rewards the achievements of the private sector across wide-ranging sectors and disciplines. These awards attract the market leaders from across the continent and salute their achievements. The work of institutional investors, governments and NGOs are also celebrated.
Alongside each Africa Investment Climate Summit, Africa investor hosts the Ai Investment and Business Leader Awards, to reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across the investment spectrum in Africa.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala thanked the organisers for the award and described it as an absolute honour and auspicious, calling on all investors in Africa to join the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease that is ravaging some countries in West Africa.
She said “What is happening in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra-Leone and the success we had in Nigeria and Senegal in containing this virus should not be allowed to set Africa back. You as private sector and friends of Africa need to send the message that we should not be so afraid of Ebola that we stigmatise the whole continent. I think that it is only with your own leadership, as African investors, that the rest of the world can see which way they should pass. So, I am really urging you to be ambassadors to the continent.
Okonjo-Iweala said that in spite of the challenges facing the continent, African leaders should sustain the successes recorded in the past.
These challenges, she said, include infrastructure, governance, poor education system, employment, corruption, among others. She also said “We are not shying away from these challenges but the turning point now is that we are in the continent where we have the political will and confidence to tackle these challenges. I think that we as Africans must always take the lead because if we don’t solve our problems, nobody can do it for us.”
The annual award also honoured African leaders in the categories of ‘Best Ai Financial Reporting Company, Best Ai Financial News Reporting, Best Ai Analyst and others for the Banking, Telecommunications, Mining and Other sectors. In addition to profiling excellence in investment reporting the awards emphasize the important need to invest in developing Africa’s media investment profile