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Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous: The Story

Okonjo-Iweala discovered just how dangerous fighting corruption could be when her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped in 2012 by forces who objected to some of the government’s efforts at reforms.

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Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous: The Story, Okonjo-Iweala discovered just how dangerous fighting corruption could be when her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped in 2012 by forces who objected to some of the government’s efforts at reforms led by Okonjo-Iweala―in particular a crackdown on fraudulent claims for oil subsidy payments, a huge drain on the country’s finances. The kidnappers’ first demand was that Okonjo-Iweala resign from her position on live television and leave the country. Okonjo-Iweala did not resign, her mother escaped, and the program of economic reforms continued. “Telling my story is risky,” Okonjo-Iweala writes. “But not telling it is also dangerous.” Her book ultimately leaves us with hope, showing that victories are possible in the fight against corruption.

In Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has written a primer for those working to root out corruption and disrupt vested interests. Drawing on her experience as Nigeria’s finance minister and that of her team, she describes dangers, pitfalls, and successes in fighting corruption. She provides practical lessons learned and tells how anti-corruption advocates need to equip themselves. Okonjo-Iweala details the numerous ways in which corruption can divert resources away from development, rewarding the unscrupulous and depriving poor people of services.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (born 13 June 1954) is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert who has served since March 1, 2021 as Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She is the first woman and the first African to hold the office. She sits on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity (ARC).

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