Nigerian contender pledges World Bank shake-up

2012-04-10 07:40

The World Bank needs a shake-up to end the inertia that has built up over six decades, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who hopes to become the development lender’s next president, said yesterday.

Okonjo-Iweala, who spent more than two decades at the Bank before becoming Nigeria’s finance minister, pledged a sweeping reassessment of the way it does business if she is chosen over two rivals for the job.

“There are things that really frustrate me (about the Bank),” she said in a talk at the Centre for Global Development in Washington.

“You have to have the courage to say: look, certain things that we’ve always made this way, they have to go.”

Okonjo-Iweala, who faces an uphill battle for the job against US nominee Jim Yong Kim, was in Washington to pitch her candidacy to the Bank’s directors, who aim to select a replacement for outgoing president Robert Zoellick by April 20.

The 57-year-old Harvard-educated economist said she was willing to shake up the huge institution.

“The president has to be a leader, to have the vision, to have the courage. It takes a lot of courage,” she said.

“You know the Bank has been around 60 years, there’s quite a bit of inertia.”

The Bank has inadequately addressed more current issues of job creation, weak housing markets, and helping poor people build up assets, she argued.

“There’s a big gap there, we’ve not done enough,” she said.

“We haven’t come with instruments to deal with regional integration. Why? Is that beyond what we can think of?”

Okonjo-Iweala said the tradition that the US chooses the head of the bank needs to change.

Together with a third candidate, Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, she is mounting the first serious challenge to the US nominee since the bank was launched 47 years ago.

The Americans and Europeans who dominate World Bank affairs “have the responsibility not to continue a system that is 60 years out of date,” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.