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Arunma Oteh: Biography And Career Journey Of An Academic Scholar

Arunma Oteh

Arunma Oteh is a Nigerian academic scholar at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and an executive-in-residence at SAID Business School. She is named amongst Forbes Africa’s 50 most powerful women of Africa, 2020.

Before she became an academic scholar, she used to be the treasurer and vice president of the World Bank. She is also an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

See Also: Dupe Olusola: biography and career of the CEO/MD of Transcorp hotels

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Arunmah Oteh Background

Arunma Oteh hails from Abia State, Nigeria. She is a Nigerian and British citizen. Arunma had her undergraduate studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and graduated in 1984 with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science.

After obtaining her BSc certificate, she proceeded to Harvard Business School, where she obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) in 1990.

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Arunma Oteh

Arunmah Oteh Career

Early Career

Arumah Oteh commenced her career in 1984, during her NYSC, as a Lecturer of Computer Science at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). After her service year, she became the Corporate Finance Officer (CFO) and Acting Head, Management Information Systems Unit of Centre Point Investments in 1985.

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She worked there for 2years and went on to become a consultant at Irving Skinner, London, United Kingdom. From there, she proceeded to become a research associate at Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, MA, in 1990.

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Arunma Oteh

Arunma’s Career At Africa Development Bank

In 1992, she secured a job at the African Development Bank (ADB) as the Senior Financial Analyst, Public Sector Lending Department. She became the Senior Investments and Capital Markets Officer of the bank in 1993 and moved on to become the Division Manager, Investments in 1997. In 2001 she was promoted to Group Treasurer, and in 2006, she became Group Vice President, Corporate Services.

Her Career At Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) Of Nigeria

Arunma Oteh left ADB to assume the role of the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria. Late President Umaru Yar’Adua nominated her in July 2009, while the Nigerian Senate confirmed her in January 2010.

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Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

As Director-General of the SEC, Arunma rebuilt the Nigerian capital markets after the global financial crisis. She also served on Nigeria’s Economic Management team.

Arunma’s Career At The World Bank

She left SEC in 2015 after Jim Yong Kim appointed her as the Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank Treasury. As treasurer of the World Bank, she led a team that managed assets totalling USD200 billion for the World Bank Group, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, and other financial institutions. They also maintained the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower in over 50 currencies.

They made this possible by executing well-prepared transactions and carefully coordinating credit rating and capital market relationships for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).

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Arunma Oteh was also responsible for extensive financial advisory for the clients of the World Bank and cash flows of over $7 trillion.

Arunma Oteh

Her Career In The Academe

At the end of her appointment with the World Bank, Arunma Oteh decided to join academia. She is an Academic Scholar at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and an Executive in Residence at the SAID Business School.

She is the co-editor of the book, African Voices African Visions. Also, in 2019, Arunma Oteh became a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Ecobank.

See Also: Oluwatomi Somefun: the CEO/MD of Unity Bank plc

Arunma Oteh Awards

  • University Foundation Scholarship
  • National Merit Award – 1984
  • Faculty Prize for Best Graduating Student in Physical Sciences – 1984
  • Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) – 2011
  • The Distinction in Public Service Award from the Commonwealth Business Council/African Business – 2011
  • Business Woman of the Year, West Africa at the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) – 2014
  • Nominee for Forbes Africa Person of the Year Award – 2015
  • Avance Media 100 Most Influential African Women – 2019
  • Forbes Africa 50 Most Powerful Women – 2020

Arunma Oteh Quotes

“…Identify the enemy which is oftentimes our own attitude”. Have faith and trust God to see you through the season.”

“…Admit your own inadequacy. The only people God can’t help are those who don’t think they need His help.”

“Often our eyes are on everything and everyone – except God – the one who can solve our problems.”

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“By tackling climate change, we’re harnessing the power to make a positive impact on the world.”

“We need to address extreme poverty with a sense of urgency especially given the untapped wealth and human capital that Africa is endowed with.”

“…Africa needs women entrepreneurs to be big, bold, innovative, and have a growth mindset, to unleash their wealth in terms of people and resources. We also need to foster an ecosystem that enables innovation and entrepreneurship.”

More Quotes

“…Women have strong natural entrepreneurship skills which will need to be nurtured and brought to scale. A strong message from my friend.”

“World-class capital markets transform societies as they create wealth for all and redress income inequalities.”

“I want to see Africa be the place where no one writes those articles about wars, disease, and famine.”

“If leading change, being passionate, resilient, and decisive about a great course is what makes me an iron lady, then I boldly raise my hand up high to that tag.”

“You can be the next Obama, you can be the next Mark Zuckerberg, you can be the next Beyoncé. It’s really up to you to put in the effort. The common theme is hard work.”

See Also: Oby Ezekwesili – biography and leadership positions of #BringBackOurGirls co-founder

Entrepreneurial Lesson

Work Hard And Work Smart

Arunma Oteh is a hard worker. She knows what she wants and always works hard to make it a reality. She doesn’t permit anything to stand in her way, as she always finds the solution to overcome every obstacle. Arunma is bold and doesn’t allow her gender to stop her from making strategic profitable decisions.

Entrepreneurs should learn to work hard, as nothing good comes easy. Hard work, determination and grit are needed to succeed in the entrepreneurial journey. Without these qualities, it will be difficult to overcome the challenges that come with running a business, especially as a female entrepreneur.

Are you making waves in your industry, and you lack visibility? Contact us at entrepreneurs.ng and we would give your business its deserved visibility

Image Credit: @aoteh – Twitter, #arunmaoteh – Instagram



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