A Nigerian-led World Bank. Will it be possible?


With Robert Zoellick’s position as World Bank president coming to an end, the entire global community has been surprised by the recent surge of candidates originating from developing countries, most of which are currently categorized as ’emerging markets’. A few months prior, we were awe-stricken by the overwhelming approval of respondents that Sri Mulyani Indrawati, then-Minister of Finance of Indonesia having resigned after a 2008 banking scandal, should have obtained such prestigious position, one that has been monopolized by Americans ever since its establishment in 1945 (at the same time, World Bank’s sister, International Monetary Fund (IMF), has also been continuously ruled by Europeans). Originally thought to have had Sri Mulyani as the strongest contender to succeed, with 87% of respondents announcing support, the whole world was instead gobsmacked when World Bank informed the press that only 3 candidates will compete, without Sri Mulyani in sight: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, currently Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Jose Antonio Ocampo, then-Treasurer of Colombia, and Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American co-founder of Partners in Health, which has significantly contributed to improving healthcare in numerous Third World countries.

Nevertheless, this time, the competition will be entirely distinctive, and hopefully, would not meet its own IMF-esque fate . It is expected, by the public, that the US, having been largely affected by the aftermath of 2008 global recession, would not continue its seemingly-everlasting role anymore, driven by concerns that they have thwarted Agustin Cartens’ – then-governor of Mexico’s central bank – to succeed as head of IMF, only to be come off second-best by US-backed Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister.

The whole world knows that both United States and Europe have never ceased attempting to secure the roles they have long relished in  both institutions, but given their sickly financial situations, why don’t we let the emerging markets to ‘change the world’?

Tim Fernholz, GOOD Business editor, explains why he expresses support for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Read it more here.


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