Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as former Finance Minister of Nigeria and as a managing director of the World Bank, is no stranger to managing the correct use of funds.
Okonjo-Iweala combatted corruption in her home country of Nigeria by establishing economic reforms and facilitating government transparency. As a consequence, Nigeria became alluring to foreign investors. According to Forbes, “Nigeria is the third largest economy in Africa with nearly $50 billion in foreign reserves.”
In a 2007 Ted Talk, Okonjo-Iweala discussed the importance of correctly managing funds, in particular, that of foreign aid. And yet, aid alone is not enough; local participation brings about the necessary solutions to improve development.
Writing for The Guardian, Okonjo-Iweala sites the importance of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in reducing Malaria and Tuberculosis deaths as well as HIV infections. The G8 supported endeavor resulted in 4.2 million people treated for HIV, 9.7 million for Tuberculosis and 310 bed nets for Malaria prevention.
The Global Fund was established in 2002 to fight and reduce Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis infections and deaths. As a multilateral aid fund, originally conceived in a G8 summit in Okinawa, Japan, the Global Fund contributed to improving global health and development saving around 9 million lives.
In Nigeria specifically, 45 million bed nets and 8.1 treatments of artemisinin-based therapy prevents and treats Malaria.
The combination of foreign aid working alongside local actors echoes the hope that Okonjo-Iweala discussed in her Ted Conference. Similarly, the Global Fund mobilizes funds from donor countries, the private and philanthropic center, social enterprises and individuals themselves. It is with the collaboration of all sectors that aid can truly improve the situation in both short and long term.
– Miles Abadilla