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Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili

Obiageli “Oby” Katryn Ezekwesili, Chair of the WPL Board; Economic and Public Policy Expert and Senior Economic Adviser to the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI); World Bank Vice-President, Africa Region (2007-2012).


Bio: Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, is an Economic and Public Policy Expert and Senior Economic Adviser to the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI) since 2015.

Oby was a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for her highly regarded work which advanced transparency in the Extractive Industries in Nigeria and globally. She served as the Vice-President for the Washington-DC based World Bank where she led the largest team within the Bank delivering projects, programs and extensive economic and sectoral research and studies in 48 Sub-Saharan countries. She is also a co-founder of Transparency International and was one of the pioneer directors of its global board based in Berlin from 1994-1999.

Following the abduction of 219 girls from their secondary school in Chibok in 2014, Oby Ezekwesili co-convened the viral ‘#BringBackOurGirls’ campaign on social media. Through sustained advocacy, freedom was secured for 107 of the abducted girls and the Movement continues to advocate for the remaining 112 #ChibokGirls. Oby is on the Global Board of Governors of NCMG International and a member of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)’s Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement and Protection.
She was a key member of the Economic Team of President Olusegun Obasanjo 2003-2007 where she served as the Chair of the Governance, Transparency, Accountability, and Anti-Corruption sub-group.
She served as the pioneer Chairperson for the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – NEITI- from 2004 -2007 and led the voluntary sign-on of Nigeria to the global EITI Principles.
From 2002, Oby Ezekwesili served as Special Assistant and Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit.

Howard University Washington DC accorded her the Vanguard Award for 2019 and Forbes Magazine named her the 2019 Social Influencer Award, Oby was recognised by Time Magazine as one of the Time-100 Most Influential People-2015 and by New York Times as one of the 25 Women of Impact for 2015.
She alongside Melinda Gates was awarded Women of Impact by The Women In The World, New York at the World Economic Forum in 2016. She is currently building a citizens’ good governance coalition through #FixPoliticsDotOrg and establishing an Academy of Politics and Governance with Africa-wide focus. The vision of the twin initiatives is to structurally transform Africa’s but especially Nigeria’s politics and political system while also producing a strong pipeline of result-oriented leaders that will become candidates for elective offices at all levels.

Dr. Ezekwesili holds a Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in economic policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The University of Agriculture in Abeokuta awarded her an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2012 and in 2016 the University of Essex Business School also awarded her an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business in recognition of her role, promoting economic and social justice in African countries.