WORLD BANK MANAGING DIRECTOR TO DELIVER 2011 WILLIAM G. DEMAS MEMORIAL LECTURE
The Twelfth William G. Demas Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Managing Director of the World Bank. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) inaugurated the annual lecture series to honour the life and work of its second President, the late William Gilbert Demas.
The lecture will take place on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in the auditorium of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, where Mr. Demas served as Governor after leaving CDB. It is one of the events associated with the Annual Meeting of CDB’s Board of Governors, which is to take place in Port of Spain from May 25 to 26.
In her address, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will look at challenges and opportunities for promoting sustained growth in the Caribbean, an area of great importance to the Caribbean region as it recovers from the global economic recession.
She served as Finance Minister of Nigeria From 2003 to 2006, and later Foreign Affairs Minister. As Minister of Finance, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors in 2005 that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s external debt, including outright cancellation of US$18 billion. In a crucial step in the battle against corruption, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala opened the government finances to public scrutiny, by publishing federal monthly financial allocations to the states and local governments in the newspapers. After leaving the government, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala joined the Brookings Institution as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from 2006 to 2007.
Prior to this, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala pursued a 21-year career as a development economist at the World Bank, where she held the post of Vice President and Corporate Secretary. She had also been Country Director for Malaysia, Mongolia, Laos and Cambodia during the East Asian financial crisis, Director of Operations in the Middle East region, and Director of Institutional Change and Strategy when she assisted with the implementation of the Bank’s reform agenda.