Managing Director of the World BankAs the first female Finance Minister in Nigeria from 2003 to 2006, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attracted foreign investment and increased job creation. Her success led her to become the Foreign Minister of Nigeria. Now she works for all of Africa as a director of the World Bank and head of the Makeda Fund. Okonjo-Iwela studied at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned her Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development.
Dr. Joy Ogwu became the first female Ambassador to the United Nations following her appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria. Before public service, Ogwu was appointed to lead the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) as the first woman Director General. Ogwu obtained a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Political Science fromRutgers University and a Ph.D. from the University of Lagos in Nigeria.
When Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became the President of Liberia in 2006, she also became Africa's first elected female head of state. Her career in public service began in 1965 when she joined the Treasury Department in Liberia, and by 1979 she was appointed Minister of Finance in 1979 where she introduced measures to curb the mismanagement of government finances.
After the military coup d'état of 1980, Johnson Sirleaf, moved to Washington, D.C. to join the World Bank as a Senior Loan Officer. In 1992 she joined the United Nations Development Program as Assistant Administrator and Director of its Regional Bureau of Africa with the rank of Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. Johnson-Sirleaf earned a Bachelor's in Accounting at Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin, a degree in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University.
Wangari Muta Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for creating the Green Belt Movement to reforest Africa. The Green Belt Movement led to women planting more than 20 million trees on their farms and on schools and church compounds. She was elected to Kenyan Parliament and served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources from January 2003 to November 2005. Maathai earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi following her Master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
Obiageli Ezekwesili is a co-founder of Transparency International, a global society organization leading the fight against corruption. She served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals (2005 - 2006) and then as Federal Minister of Education of Nigeria (2006 -2007).
Presently Ezekwesili is the Vice President of the World Bank's Africa division. Ezekwesili holds a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, andMasters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
As an international economist from Zambia, Dr. Dambisa Moyo is best known for her New York Times best-selling books Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa and How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly - And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead. Dr. Moyo is an advocate for developing countries to finance development, instead of relying on foreign aid.
She received a Ph.D. in Economics at Oxford University, a Masters degree from Harvard University. At American University she earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and an MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C.
As we help KP girls to find themselves through education and reach their fullest potential, we are hoping that they will emulate and aspire to walk in the foot steps of our 2012 Role Models.
These amazing women inspire us and we thank them for making Africa proud! They were not born rich but look at what they have become! They are where they are today because of education and persistent drive to succeed in life.
At Kechie's Project, we believe that education equals empowerment! Join us!!