NIGERIA’S former finance minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has denied being appointed as the head of the South Africa Economic Advisory Council saying that President Cyril Ramaphosa only invited her to become a member.
South Africa is currently going through a bitter recession as the global price of diamonds, one of its key exports has collapsed due to excessive supply. Also, back in 2002, South Africa held about 50% of the world’s gold resources and 38% of reserves but today, the industry is in a terrible state as 75% of South Africa’s mines are now unprofitable due to decline in gold reserves.
Faced with such challenges, President Ramaphosa has appointed Dr Okonjo-Iweala as a member of his economic team in a bid to turn things around. Over the weekend, it was reported that Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank vice president was heading the team but she has made it clear that is a misrepresentation.
On Friday, Dr Okonjo-Iweala attended the council’s meeting in Tshwane, the northern metropolitan Gauteng Province of Pretoria, where she met with other members. Paul Nwabuikwu, Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s spokesman, noted that be former minister was appointed a member of the council and not its head.
Mr Nwabuikwu said: “Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a member, not the head, of the international team of policy and business experts that make up the South Africa Economic Advisory Council.”