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Okonjo Iweala to join US investment bank

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23 Sep 2009 --- epa01871956 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of The World Bank listens to speakers during a panel discussion on the second day of the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York, New York, USA, on 23 September 2009. The annual meetings, which run from September 22 through 25, is led by Bill Clinton to address poverty, health, climate change, and other worldwide issues drawing activists and political leaders from around the world. EPA/RAMIN TALAIE --- Image by © RAMIN TALAIE/epa/Corbis

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Former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has announced she will be joining US investment bank Lazard’s sovereign advice division.

She has also been appointed chair-elect of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

The new portfolios follow her second stint as Nigeria’s finance minister, which ended in May after the Jonathan led government was voted out of office.

“The two appointments I’m going to undertake embody a continuation of what I’ve tried to do in my career”, she said.

“My work at Gavi will help me continue my work in strengthening institutions and building systems” to improve the health of children through immunisation, she said. At Lazard, she said, she would advise countries on structuring their finances and dealing with debt issues.

Ms Okonjo-Iweala has spent the past three decades working on fiscal management and governance systems in Africa through 25 years at the World Bank, most recently as a managing director, and twice as finance minister in what is now the continent’s biggest economy.

Recall that she was sharply criticised by the press for not speaking out more vociferously about the alleged corrupt practices of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Ms Okonjo-Iweala has argued that her work on transparency and anti-corruption as finance minister under both Mr Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo has been unfairly “brushed aside”

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