In its 20th annual ranking, Forbes highlighted influential figures across various fields, placing Ms Okonjo-Iweala at the 87th spot among the Most Powerful Women globally, surpassing South African businesswoman Mpumi Madisa at 88th.
The coveted title of the most powerful woman in the world for 2023 was awarded to Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. Von der Leyen’s impactful policy and budgetary decisions have wielded significant influence, shaping the lives of 450 million people across Europe.
Christine Lagarde, as the European Central Bank President, holds the second position, steering Europe’s monetary policy during a period of elevated inflation.
In the 2022 ranking, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala secured the 91st spot among Forbes’s World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. The 69-year-old economist and international development professional, with over 30 years of experience across continents, earned this recognition for her continuous efforts in providing financial assistance and promoting global trade amid the threat of a global recession.
Believing in the power of trade to uplift developing countries, Okonjo-Iweala, a mother of four, has dedicated her career to fostering sustainable development. Her notable roles include two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and a historic tenure as the first woman and first African to serve as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation since March 2021. Earlier in her career, she served as Nigeria’s foreign minister in 2006 and chaired the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has immunized 760 million children globally.
Top 4 most powerful women globally
1. Ursula von der Leyen: European Commission President, topping the 2023 list for the second consecutive year.
2. Christine Lagarde: European Central Bank President, securing the second position.
3. Kamala Harris: U.S. Vice President, maintaining the third spot.
4. Taylor Swift: American singer-songwriter, breaking into the top five for the first time, ranking fifth. She climbed from No. 79 in 2022.