Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed To The Board Of Twitter [2018]

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed into the board of Twitter Inc. alongside Robert Zoellick (previously president of the World Bank) as new independent directors.

Okonjo-Iweala is the third woman and first African to ever be appointed unto the board of Twitter.

According to the Executive Chairman of the social media company, Omid Kordestani, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would be an incredible asset for the company as it strives toward transparency in its global operations.

In the words of Omid Kordestani:

“Ngozi and Bob are distinguished leaders with unparalleled global perspective and policy expertise.

We are confident they will be incredible assets to Twitter as we continue to focus on driving transparency and making Twitter a safer, healthier place for everyone who uses our service.”

In her response, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala stated:

“Twitter is a powerful platform that continues to be used as a strong connector for the global community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team.

As we strive to build a better world for tomorrow, Twitter can amplify messages and drive critical conversations around today’s most important issues.

I look forward to partnering with Twitter’s talented directors and leadership team as we work to leverage the power of Twitter for good.”

In a follow up tweet on her official handle, @NOIweala with over 863,000 followers, the Nigerian former minister of finance expressed words of appreciation to the company for the appointment stating:

“Excited to work with @Jack and an incredible team on the Board of Twitter, a global platform that is such a strong connector of people and ideas.”

Twitter, an online news and social networking service has three women on a board of 10 (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is replacing Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of Pearson). Her appointment to the Board of Twitter also means there are now two black women directors, the other being Debra Lee, recently the chief executive of BET Networks.

The company itself has acknowledged it needs to improve diversity in its ranks and has ambitions to increase the percentage of female employees in the company to 43% by 2019 from 38% at the end of 2017. It has also committed to increase the percentage of black and Latino employees to 5%; both groups each represented 3.4% of Twitter’s staff at the end of 2017.

The company, which had 336 million monthly active users globally in the first quarter, is popular in Africa, particularly for discussions around politics.

3 Nigerians Receive Queen Elizabeth’s Young Leaders Award [2018]

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom has presented to Hauwa Ojeifo, Isaac Ezirim and Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London in honour of the work they are doing to transform lives in their communities (in Nigeria).

Isaac Ezirim

28-year-old Isaac Ezirim, the founder of  Teens Can Code, received his award for the work he is doing to teach coding to teenagers in low-income areas; currently training 200 teenagers how to build web and mobile applications using the same tools that are used by professionals in the tech industry.

Hauwa Ojeifo

26-year-old Hauwa Ojeifo received her award for the work she is doing to tackle the stigma around mental health, running a women’s support group called She Writes Women, which focuses on mental health support and outreach among some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

In her words:

“It is a rare privilege to receive an Award from Her Majesty The Queen for the work I am doing in mental health in Nigeria. It has been a completely transformative experience being here in the UK getting mentored by world leaders, trained and engaging in top level meetings with some of the most powerful and influential change makers of our time.

Perhaps the most humbling part is being part of a network of fellow young leaders across the Commonwealth whose knowledge and resource base is far reaching. I can’t wait to see what we do with these valuable connections in the future.”

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph

20-year-old Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph received his award for the work he is doing to promote women’s rights in Nigeria, founding the Calabar Youth Council for Women’s Rights (CYCWR), which supports the rights of women in the areas of female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic abuse, forced child marriage and access to education for girls.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Award

The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of some of the most exciting young change-makers from across the Commonwealth. This year’s cohort from 38 Commonwealth countries are finding solutions to global issues such as climate change, food scarcity, gender-based violence, mental health, and access to education.

As a Queen’s Young Leader, Hauwa, Isaac and Kennedy have gained access to bespoke mentoring and training through the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, designed to develop their leadership skills further and ensure they are best placed to lead the way in the future to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Sir John Major, Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust said:

“I extend my warmest congratulations to all the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders. Together with our Award Winners from the last three years, they complete a unique, 240-strong cohort of Young Leaders from all across the Commonwealth. This is such an invaluable resource for the Commonwealth that The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust will be launching a legacy fund, to ensure that our support and encouragement to our Young Leaders will continue beyond the lifetime of the Trust.

Each and every one of our 240 Young Leaders is a remarkable and exceptional young person, who I have no doubt will play an important role in shaping our future world. It has been an absolute privilege and delight to get to know them.”

The now complete Queen’s Young Leaders network forms a unique, dedicated and powerful group of young people from 53 Commonwealth countries who will connect, collaborate and change lives together for years to come. To further support them in their future endeavours, a £200,000 Legacy Fund has been created. It will be open to all 240 Queen’s Young Leaders and 282 highly commended runners-up to apply for grants that will help elevate their work and enable them to work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the Commonwealth.

Akinwumi Adesina Honored With Togolese Commander Of The Order Of Mono

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has been honored with the Commander of the Order of Mono − the highest civil honor of Togo.

The Commander of the Order of Mono national honour, bestowed on personalities who have shown exceptional merit, was awarded by the Head of State of Togo, Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, on the sidelines of a visit to Togo for the launch of the Mécanisme Indicatif de Financement Agricole (MIFA), a program aimed at improving farmers’ access to finance.

MIFA is based on Nigeria’s successful experiences with NIRSAL, where it helped de-risk lending by commercial banks to agriculture.

Addressing participants at the ceremony, Dr. Adesina said:

“Transforming agriculture is the key to reviving rural economies and turning them into new zones of economic prosperity. The MIFA initiative you are launching today is another building block in Togo’s agricultural transformation strategy jointly developed by the African Development Bank and the Government of Togo, with the support of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).

When fully implemented, it is expected to rapidly increase bank lending to the agricultural sector, reduce interest rates, and reach 1 million farmers with access to credit in the next 3-5 years.”

In attendance at the event were President Gnassingbé and members of his cabinet, including Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou, members of the diplomatic corps, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, NIRSAL CEO, Aliyu Hameed, as well as representatives from the private sector.

The African Development Bank has helped Togo implement AgriPME, a system that allows farmers to access fertilizer using their mobile phones.

In 2016/2017, more than 77,500 farmers, 38% of them women, received their fertilizers through the system. AgriPME has allowed the government to better target farmers and deliver subsidized farm inputs. AgriPME has also improved transparency, accountability and increased public spending efficiency. A total of 40,000 MT of fertilizer were provided to farmers, compared to 30,000 MT on average over the period 2009-2015, an increase of 45%. The system has also led to CFAF 3.5 billion in savings for the Government of Togo.

Since the beginning of its operations in Togo in 1972, the African Development Bank Group has approved 76 operations representing a total of USD 538.24 million.