Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s new book, Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines, draws on her years as Nigeria’s Finance Minister to provide practical lessons on the difficult, sometimes-dangerous, always-necessary work of fighting graft and corruption.
Determined to root out the fraudulent claims and other schemes that drain the country of resources and ultimately deprive the poor of crucial services, the former Managing Director of the World Bank, Okonjo- Iweala found herself and her family targeted for reprisals designed to force her to drop her anti-corruption campaign. She refused to stop or to resign, even as her enemies kidnapped her mother. Admitting that it is risky to tell her story, Okonjo-Iweala, currently senior advisor at Lazard and board chair of Gavi, notes that it is also dangerous not to tell it.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) was Nigeria's Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, and Foreign Minister in 2006. She was Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, overseeing South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, and is currently Senior Adviser at Lazard and Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria.
Minouche Shafik is Director of LSE. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. During her 15 years at the World Bank, Minouche worked on its first ever World Development Report on the environment, designed reform programmes for transition countries in Eastern Europe, and developed proposals for economic integration in support of the Oslo peace process in the Middle East. She became the youngest vice-president in the history of the World Bank at the age of 36. Minouche returned to the UK in 2004 and rose to become the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development where she was responsible for the UK’s development assistance efforts around the world.
The IGC (@The_IGC) aims to promote sustainable growth in developing countries by providing demand-led policy advice based on frontier research. We direct a global network of world-leading researchers and in-country teams in Africa and South Asia and work closely with partner governments. Based at LSE and in partnership with the University of Oxford, the IGC is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Based at LSE, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (@AfricaAtLSE) promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making. The Centre accomplishes this by connecting different social science disciplines and by working in partnership with Africa bringing African voices to the global debate.
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A podcast of this event is available to download from Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous: in conversation with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
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