Posted by News Express | 19 May 2015 | 2,902 times
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has received an honourary doctorate degree from Yale University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the United States of America.
She Minister was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters at Yale’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony in New Haven, Connecticut, Monday.
The Minister is the second Nigerian in the university’s 314-year history to receive its highest honour after Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who received an honourary Doctor of Letters in 1980.
Giving out the award, the President of the university, Prof. Peter Salovey, described Okonjo-Iweala as “a brilliant reformer and dedicated public servant.”
He went on to state that the minister “has spearheaded efforts to stabilise and grow Nigeria’s economy, battling widespread government corruption and creating greater fiscal transparency and discipline.”
Yale’s honourary doctorate degree is seen globally as a very important honour.
According to the institution “those who have received honourary degree are scholars, public servants, Nobel Prize winners and heads of states.
“Collectively, they represent the aspirations of this institution. Yale honourary degree recipients serve as models of excellence and service to our students, to our graduates, to our community and to the world.”
As Finance Minister in 2004, Okonjo-Iweala and the economic team that she led helped Nigeria obtain debt relief, wiping out $30 billion of Paris club debt, leading to a tripling of the growth rates.
The second time around as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Finance Minister from 2011 till date, Okonjo-Iweala has focused on building solid foundations and institutions critical for the survival and sustenance of the economy. She bravely fought corruption in governance with fierce dedication and unflagging energy.
Okonjo-Iweala was honoured alongside the Chair of the Board of Governors of US Federal Reserve System, Janet Yellen; world renowned Beninoise singer and songwriter Angelique Kidjo; founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, Prof. Gayatari Chakravorty Spivak; Professor and Director of the Starr Center for Human Genetics at Rockefeller University Jeffrey Michael Friedman; as well as inventors and entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Dean Kamen, among others.
Reacting to the honour, Okonjo-Iweala said: “I am grateful to God for the recognition by Yale. For me, the lesson is that one should never be daunted in doing the right things even in the face of challenges. I am thankful for all the support from within the country and the international community, especially from ordinary Nigerians because their support is mirrored in the recognition from Yale,”
•Photo shows Okonjo-Iweala (standing 2nd right) with other Yale University honorees.
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