By News Express,
History was made today with the naming of former World Bank Vice President for Africa, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, to the Board of Bharti Airtel Limited, a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education as well as Solid Minerals in her native Nigeria, becomes the first Nigerian to be so appointed by Bharti Airtel, which has its headquarters in India. Her appointment followed the restructuring of Bharti Airtel’s Board, according to a statement dated September 30 and released from the company’s regional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
The statement sent to News Express by e-mail explained that the changes on the Board of Bharti Airtel also extend to its subsidiary Bharti Infratel. “The changes have been effected in view of the proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Bharti Infratel, which is a leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure in India,” the statement said.
A world-renowned expert on economic reforms and economic governance, Ezekwesili (shown in photo) has a strong track record in the transparency, accountability, good governance, and anti-corruption movement worldwide, having been one of the co-founders of Transparency International.
As the Vice President of the World Bank in charge of the Africa region, she was responsible for operations in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and supervised a lending portfolio of over US$40 billion. Ezekwesili previously served as director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy Program in Boston and Abuja. She holds a master’s in international law from the University of Lagos, a master’s in public policy and administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a chartered accountant.
Commenting on the restructuring, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said: “These changes have been effected in line with our strong corporate governance culture and will ensure that Bharti and Singtel have distinct representatives on the Boards of Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel. I am confident that these two world-class Boards will continue to guide these companies to greater heights. I would also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Directors for their contribution to the Board of Bharti Airtel.”