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M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the week, Akinwumi “Akin” Adeshina is the President of the African Development Bank. Born, 6 February 1960, we are pleased to celebrate a true achiever and pace setter.

He previously served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Until his appointment as Minister in 2010, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Dr. Adeshina was elected as the President of the African Development Bank in 2015 and re-elected for a second term in 2020. He is the first Nigerian to hold the post.

He graduated with a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics with First Class Honors from the University of Ife, Nigeria (1981), where he was the first student to be awarded this distinction by the university. He pursued his studies at Purdue University in Indiana, USA. He obtained his PhD (Agricultural Economics) in 1988 from Purdue where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis for his research work.

A true Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador, in 2013, he was named as Forbes Africa Person of the Year.

@mina.ng we celebrate our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina.

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M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

Two Nigerian-Americans emerged winners in the 2020 United States general elections.  Adeoye Owolewa emerged victorious at the federal level, a shadow member of the United States House of Representatives from the District of Columbia. Esther Agbaje will represent District 59B in the Minnesota House of Representatives on the platform of Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the US Democratic Party

An indication of general acceptance and public trust, Owolewa and Agbaje secured 82.65% and 74.7% of the total votes cast respectively.

The election of Owolewa and Agbaje, 31 and 35 years respectively is a testimony that Nigerian youths are capable of being trusted with the position of authority.

Adeoye Owolewa is a Nigerian born American politician, pharmacist, and a member of the Democratic Party. He is the grandson of Phoebe Ajayi-Obe, a late senior advocate of Nigeria. His father hails from Omu Aran in Kwara State and his mother is from Ibadan in Oyo State. Oye was born and raised in Boston, the fourth in a family of five children. He attended Boston Latin School and graduated in 2008. In 2014 He earned a PhD in Pharmacy from Northeastern University and thereafter moved to Washington to practice pharmacy. In 2018 he became an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner of District 8E01

Esther Agbaje a Nigerian-born American is a graduate of Harvard Law School specialized in public interest law in the areas of infrastructure, energy, housing, and civil rights.

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Entertainment, FEATURES, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week, Genevieve Nnaj (born 3 May 1979) is a Nigerian actress, producer, and director. She won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actor to win the award. In 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to Nollywood. Her directorial debut movie, Lionheart, is the first Netflix Original from Nigeria, and first Nigerian submission for the Oscars.

Nnaji was born in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos. She attended Methodist Girls College (Yaba, Lagos), before transferring to the University of Lagos, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative arts.

Nnaji started her acting career as a child actor in the then-popular television soap opera Ripples at the age of 8. In 1998, at the age of 19, she was introduced into the growing Nigerian film industry with the movie Most Wanted. Her subsequent movies include Last Party, Mark of the Beast, and Ijele. In 2010, she starred in the award-winning film Ijé: The Journey. She has starred in over 200 Nollywood movies.

In 2004, Nnaji signed a recording contract with EKB Records, a Ghanaian record label, and released her debut album One Logologo Line. It is a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop, and Urban music. In 2004, Genevieve Nnaji was with the most votes after contending with other celebrities for the search for the face of Lux in 2004.

In 2005, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role, becoming the first actor to win the award.

As of 2009, Nnaji was one of the best-paid female actors in Nollywood. Due to her contributions to the Nigerian movie industry, she became the first actor to be awarded Best Actress at the 2001 City Peoples Awards, the award ceremony that previously had only recognized politicians and business conglomerates. She was also the first actor to be awarded as Best Actress by the Censors Board of Nigeria in 2003. In 2009, she was referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey.

In November 2015, Nnaji produced her first movie called Road to Yesterday, later winning Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

On 7 September 2018, her directorial debut Lionheart was acquired by online streaming service Netflix, making it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. The movie had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, alongside Farming, the Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s autobiographical directorial debut where she starred in alongside Kate Beckinsale, Damson Idris, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Genevieve Nnaji is a very strong girl and women activist. She advocates for Nigerian girls to be able to have a say in who they choose to marry. She is against early marriages for the girl child. She is strongly against abuse of women in society. Genevieve says she is a strong advocate for social justice. Further, Genevieve Nnaji is a strong feminist. She states her type of feminism is the woman who has the right to make her own choices and do whatever she feels like.

Nnaji has featured in several commercials, include for Pronto (beverage) and Omo detergent. In 2004, she became the “Face of Lux” in Nigeria in a highly lucrative sponsorship deal. In 2008, Nnaji launched the clothing line “St. Genevieve”, which donates its proceeds to charity. In May 2010, she was appointed to be the official “Face of MUD” in Nigeria.

Nnaji has received several awards and nominations for her work, including the Best Actress of the Year Award at the 2001 City People Awards and the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award at the 2005 Africa Movie Academy Awards.

In 2019, her movie, Lionheart (2018 film), was selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), as Nigeria’s submission to the Best International Feature Film Category of the 2020 Oscars. It was the first film ever submitted to the Oscars by Nigeria.

 

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FEATURES, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

At MINA-Online, as part of our Advocacy for Made-In-Nigeria, we will be profiling some exemplary Nigerians as our Ambassador of the week. The idea is to celebrate our living Ambassadors, projecting the best of Nigeria to the world. We understand that the world is readily available to report our negatives, we must make a conscious effort to project our positives to the world.

 

Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador for the week, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born 13 June 1954) is a Nigerian-born economist and international development, expert. She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).

 

Previously, Okonjo-Iweala spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a development economist, scaling the ranks to the Number 2 position of Managing Director, Operations (2007-2011). She also served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively.

Okonjo-Iweala was born in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, Nigeria where her father Professor Chukwuka Okonjo is the Eze (King) from the Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Ukwu.

 

Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Queen’s School, Enugu, St. Anne’s School, Molete, Ibadan, and the International School Ibadan. She arrived in the US in 1973 as a teenager to study at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an AB in Economics in 1976.

 

 In 1981, she earned her Ph.D. in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a thesis titled Credit policy, rural financial markets, and Nigeria’s agricultural development. She received an International Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), that supported her doctoral studies.

She is married to Dr. Ikemba Iweala, a neurosurgeon. They have four children – one daughter, Onyinye Iweala (AB, MD, Ph.D., Harvard) and three sons, Uzodinma Iweala (AB, Harvard, MD, Columbia), Okechukwu Iweala (AB, Harvard) and Uchechi Iweala (AB, MD, MBA, Harvard).

 

A distinguished career woman, Okonjo-Iweala had a 25-year career at the World Bank in Washington DC as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of Managing Director. As Managing Director, she had oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolios in Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia. Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008 & 2009, food crises, and later during the financial crisis. In 2010, she was Chair of the IDA replenishment, the World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low-interest credit for the poorest countries in the world. During her time at the World Bank, she was also a member of the Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa, which was set up by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark, and held meetings between April and October 2008.

Her career in Government:

Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was the first female to hold both positions. During her first term as Minister of Finance under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US$18 billion. In 2003 she led efforts to improve Nigeria’s macroeconomic management including the implementation of an oil-price based fiscal rule where revenues accruing above a reference benchmark oil price were saved in a special account, The Excess Crude Account” which helped to reduce macroeconomic volatility.

 

She also introduced the practice of publishing each state’s monthly financial allocation from the Federal Government of Nigeria in the newspapers. This action went a long way in increasing transparency in governance. With the support of the World Bank and the IMF to the Federal Government of Nigeria, she helped build an electronic financial management platform—the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), helping to curtail corruption in the process. As of 31 December 2014, the IPPIS platform had eliminated 62,893 ghost workers from the system and saved the Nigerian government about $1.25 billion in the process.

 

Okonjo-Iweala was also instrumental in helping Nigeria obtain its first-ever sovereign credit rating (of BB minus) from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poors in 2006.

Following her first term as Minister of Finance, she returned to the World Bank as a Managing Director in December 2007.

 

In 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was re-appointed as Minister of Finance in Nigeria with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan. Her legacy includes strengthening Nigeria’s public financial systems and stimulating the housing sector with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC). She also empowered Nigeria’s women and youth with the Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria Programme (GWIN); a gender-responsive budgeting system, and the highly acclaimed Youth Enterprise with Innovation program (YouWIN); to support entrepreneurs, that created thousands of jobs.

 

This program has been evaluated by the World Bank as one of the most effective programs of its kind globally. Under her leadership, the National Bureau of Statistics carried out a re-basing exercise of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); the first in 24 years, which saw Nigeria emerge as the largest economy in Africa. She took a lot of heat for the fuel subsidy removal policy by the Nigerian government, an action that led to protests in January 2012. In May 2016, the new Nigerian administration eventually removed the fuel subsidy after it became apparent that it was unsustainable and inefficient.

 

Later Career:

Okonjo-Iweala is co-Chair of the Global Commission for the Economy and Climate, with Nicholas Stern and Paul Polman. Previously, she served as the co-Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

 

In the past, Okonjo-Iweala was also a member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (2015-2016), chaired by Gordon Brown; the Commission on the New Climate Economy (also co-Chaired by Paul Polman and Lord Nicholas Stern); the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Foundation; the United Nations’ Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (2012-2013); and the renowned Growth Commission (2006-2009), led by Nobel Prize winner Professor Michael Spence.

 

Okonjo-Iweala is the founder of Nigeria’s first indigenous opinion-research organization, NOI-Polls. She also founded the Center for the Study of Economies of Africa (C-SEA), a development research think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Brookings Institution.

 

In 2012, Okonjo-Iweala was a candidate for President of the World Bank, running against Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim; if elected, she would have been the organization’s first female president.

 

Since 2019, Okonjo-Iweala has been part of UNESCO’s International Commission on the Futures of Education, chaired by Sahle-Work Zewde. In 2020, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva appointed her to an external advisory group to provide input on policy challenges. Also in 2020, she was appointed by the African Union (AU) as a special envoy to solicit international support to help the continent deal with the economic impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

 

Awards:

Okonjo-Iweala has received numerous recognitions and awards. She has been listed as one of the 50 Greatest World Leaders (Fortune, 2015), the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World (TIME, 2014), the Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy, 2011 and 2012), the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (Forbes, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014),[citation needed] the Top 3 Most Powerful Women in Africa (Forbes, 2012), the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Africa (Forbes, 2011), the Top 100 Women in the World (The Guardian, 2011)[citation needed], the Top 150 Women in the World (Newsweek, 2011), the Top 100 most inspiring people in the World Delivering for Girls and Women (Women Deliver, 2011).[citation needed] She was listed among 73 brilliant business influencers in the world by Condé Nast International.

 

In 2019, Okonjo-Iweala was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also conferred High National Honours from the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of Liberia. She is also the recipient of Nigeria’s Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR)[citation needed]. Among others

Honorary degrees

 

Okonjo-Iweala has received honorary degrees from 14 universities worldwide, including some from the most prestigious colleges: the University of Pennsylvania (2013), Yale University (2015), Amherst College (2009) Trinity College, Dublin (2007)[66] Brown University (2006), Colby College (2007)., and Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica. She has also received degrees from a host of Nigerian universities including Abia State University, Delta State University, Abraka, Oduduwa University, Babcock University, and the Universities of Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Ife (Obafemi Awolowo). In 2019, Okonjo Iweala was awarded an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University.

 

@MINA-Online we celebrate our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

 

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M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

At MINA-Online, as part of our Advocacy for Made-In-Nigeria, we will be profiling some exemplary Nigerians as our Ambassador of the week. The idea is to celebrate our living Ambassadors, projecting the best of Nigeria to the world. We understand that the world is readily available to report our negatives, we must make a conscious effort on our part to project your positives to the world.


Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the week, Chief Dele Momodu (Bob Dee) celebrated his 60th birthday on Saturday, May 16, 2020; we are pleased to acknowledge this achievement for a man that is no doubt a role model to millions of Nigerians, an icon that has devoted the better part of his professional life celebrating the success of others.


Chief Dele Momodu (born Ayòbámidélé Àbáyòmí Ojútelégàn Àjàní Momodu; 16 May 1960) is a Nigerian journalist/publisher, businessman, and motivational speaker. He is the CEO and publisher of Ovation International, a magazine that has given publicity to people from all over the world, mainly in Africa.


A true achiever in the media industry, in 2015, he officially launched Ovation TV and subsequently launched an online newspaper called The Boss. Momodu has received hundreds of awards and honors for his work in the world of business, politics, literature, the music industry, and the fashion industry. He writes a weekly column called “PENdulum”, published every Saturday on the back page of Thisday newspaper. The articles are praised for highlighting issues in Nigeria, as well as discussing popular topics, current events, and notable people, often in a polemic/critical style.


A graduate of the University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) 1982, Dele Momodu holds a degree in Yoruba and a master’s degree in English Literature (1988). He lectured at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science in Ile-Ife, between 1982 and 1983 while on National Service. Between 1983 and 1985, he was private secretary to the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo. In 1986, Momodu served the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, managing the Motel Royal Limited owned by the monarch. Following Momodu’s resignation from the Motel Royal, he went on to study for his post-graduate degree in English literature. He was during this time contributing articles to the likes of The Guardian, Sunday Tribune, and other Nigerian-based publications. On 30 July 2016, Dele was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (Ph.D.) from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana, earning him the title “Doctor of Humane Letters”.


In May 1988, Dele Momodu got his first job as Staff Writer with African Concord magazine, owned by late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. A year later, Momodu was transferred to Weekend Concord as a pioneer staff. He wrote the first cover story for the paper in March 1989. He also contributed to other publications such as the National Concord, Sunday Concord, Business Concord, and the Yoruba newspaper Isokan. In May 1989, he became Literary Editor, within six months he became News Editor of the Weekend Concord. Between May 1990 and September 1991 he edited May Ellen Ezekiel’s Classique, a celebrity magazine, an appointment that made him the highest-paid editor in Nigeria. He resigned and tried his hand at doing business as a bread distributor for his mentor Chief Moshood Abiola, who owned “Wonderloaf”. Following this, Momodu started a public relations outfit, Celebrities-Goodwill Limited, which managed the accounts of Chief Moshood Abiola, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, and other distinguished Nigerians.


Chief Momodu started Ovation International in 1996 while in exile. After the death of Abiola in prison, and the subsequent death of his persecutor, Sani Abacha, Momodu ended his exile. Since then, he has expanded Ovation International, and it is now one of Africa’s most popular celebrity magazines. Ovation International is also reputed to be the only bi-lingual magazine in Africa, having editions printed in both English and French.


Dele Momodu has held an annual event since 2008, known as the Ovation Red Carol (later changed to Ovation Carol and Awards). The Red Carol is held every December and has become one of West Africa’s most popular annual Christmas events, often involving musical performances, drama, fashion shows, and award presentations for varying charitable causes.


On 19 December 1992, Dele married his wife Mobolaji Abiodun Momodu. They have four children: Pekan (born 1994), Yole (born 1996), Eniafe (born 1997), and Korewa (born 2004).


@MINA-Online we celebrate our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week, Chief Dele Momodu.

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