Oby Ezekwesili is the popular name given to Obiageli Ezekwesili, who served as a former vice-president of the African Area of the World Bank (2007-2012). She has held the position of Minister in Nigeria on two separate occasions, and she even ran for president during Nigeria’s election for president in 2019, however she withdrew from the race in January 2019. Oby Ezekwesili is a highly motivated individual who is committed to advancing accountability, good governance, and openness within the government. During the time that she served as Minister in Nigeria, she was the driving force behind a number of important economic and financial changes.

Obiageli Kathryn Ezekwesili is her full name; however, she is more commonly referred to by her nickname, Oby Ezekwesili. She was born on April 28, 1963 in Lagos State, Nigeria. Her father, Benjamin Ujubuonu, who passed away in 1988, and her mother, Cecilia Nwayiaka Ujubuonu, are the parents of six children, and she is the first of those children.

Oby Ezekwesili spent her childhood in Lagos, where she had her primary and secondary education respectively from African One Primary School in Ajegunle and United Christian College in Apapa. Her undergraduate education was completed at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, and she subsequently earned a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy at the University of Lagos. After that, Oby Ezekwesili continued her education in a foreign country and ultimately earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Oby Ezekwesili started off her professional life working with Deloitte & Touche Akintola Williams. In addition, while she was at Harvard, she worked as the Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Project at the Center for International Development, where she collaborated with professor Jeffrey Sachs. At the time when President Olusegun Obasanjo was in office, she was the first person to hold the position of Head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, also known as the Due Process Unit. Her outstanding performance in this position led to her being given the nickname “madam due process.” She was the Chairwoman of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative from 2004 through 2007 and served during that time (NEITI)

She was given the position of Minister of Solid Minerals in the year 2005. (Mines and Steel). She played an important role in the creation of policies that led to Nigeria being recognized on a global scale as a credible location for mining investment. She was the first person to propose the legislation that would become the Bureau for Public Procurement and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Act.

The following year, she was appointed to the position of Federal Minister of Education, where she made numerous contributions, such as refocusing the Education Ministry on the achievement of Education for All (EFA) targets and Millennium Development Goals; introducing the Public-Private Partnership models for education service delivery, etc.

Paul Wolfowitz, who was the President of the World Bank at the time, gave her the position of Vice President of the World Bank for the Africa Region in March of 2007. She held this position from May 2007 till May 2012 inclusively. During her tenure, she made significant strides toward advancing Africa’s economic interests and oversaw a lending portfolio with a total value of more than $40 billion.

Oby Ezekwesili declared her intention to run for president of Nigeria under the banner of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria in 2018. (ACPN). During her campaign, she pledged to work toward the goal of eradicating poverty for 80 million people in Nigeria. However, in January of 2019, she decided not to pursue a run for the presidency any longer.

Awards and Recognition

  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, 2012
  • One of the BBC’s 100 Women, 2013 & 2014
  • One of the Time-100 Most Influential People, Time Magazine, 2015
  • One of the 25 Women of Impact, New York Times, 2015
  • Woman of Impact (along with Melinda Gates), The Women in The World, New York 2016
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business, University of Essex Business School, 2016
  • Considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in Transparency International.
  • One of World’s 100 Most Influential People, Time Magazine, 2019
  • Vanguard Award, Howard University, 2019
  • Award of Recognition, as leaders of Concerned Professional in this era, June 12 Pro-Democracy Movement, 2019
  • Social Influencer Award, ‘for launching the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign online’ Forbes Woman Africa, 2019
  • One of the #Genius 100 Visionary Thinkers of the Future
  • Award of Excellence, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Jean Meyer Award, Tuft University EPIIC
  • Democracy Ambassador of International IDEA
She has been married to Pastor Chinedu Ezekwesili, who serves as a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and the couple has been blessed with three kids. Chinemelum, Chinweuba, and Chidera are the beautiful names she has given to her three kids.

At the time that this article was being written, the exact amount of Oby Ezekwesili’s net worth was unknown. However, readers should stay tuned because Carmart will update the information as soon as it becomes available.