Obiageli Ezekwesili is a Chartered Accountant who served as Vice President of Africa at The World Bank Group.
Ezekwesili managed more than 1 500 staff and was responsible for the delivery of projects and economic work in 47 Sub-Saharan countries.
She joined the World Bank Group from her position as Minister of Education in the Government of Nigeria, where she led a comprehensive reform programme within the education sector including: Restructuring and refocusing the ministry for the attainment of Education for All (EfA) targets and Millennium Development Goals.
Ezekwesili also introduced the Public-Private Partnership models for education service delivery, revamped the Federal Inspectorate Service as an improved quality assurance mechanism and introduced transparency and accountability mechanisms for better governance of the budget.
Ezekwesili led the establishment of the Innovation & Vocational Enterprise Institutions initiatives which focuses on the development of skills for economic competitiveness and in conjunction with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, launched the “Adopt-A-School” programme, an initiative that fosters philanthropy by corporations; community groups and individuals.
Ezekwesili began her career with Deloitte & Touche where she worked as an Auditor, management and financial services consultant.
She then served as a founding Director of Transparency International (TI) and as TI’s Director for Africa from 1994 to 1999.
From 2000 to 2002, she worked with Professor Jeffrey Sachs as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy programme, during which time she was also appointed as an aide to President Obasanjo.
In 2003, she was designated Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence.
As Minister of Solid Minerals from 2005 to 2006, Ezekwesili oversaw the passage of the Minerals and Mining Act, the establishment of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office and the opening of the sector to private participation.
Ezekwesili also served as the Chairperson of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative from 2004 and led the voluntary sign-on of Nigeria to the EITI Principles as well as the first ever process, financial and physical audit of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Ezekwesili has been a Non-Executive Independent Director at Bharti Airtel Limited since 2012.
In 2006, Ezekwesili was given the national award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
Ezekwesili holds a Masters in International Law & Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelors degree from the University of Nigeria.