Three Nominees For World Bank Presidency Commence Race With Statements

Several news outlets published articles recapping comments made Wednesday by the three nominees for the World Bank presidency. “In a written commentary released by the U.S. Treasury as he embarked on a global tour to sell his candidacy, … Jim Yong Kim, the Korean-American physician nominated by Washington to lead the World Bank, said Wednesday his science training will help him make the Bank more responsive to the needs of developing countries,” and that “the Bank needs to be ‘more inclusive’ and listen more to poor countries’ own ideas about how to solve their problems,” Agence France-Presse reports (3/28). On the two-week tour, Kim will visit “cities including Addis Ababa, New Delhi and Brasilia to seek advice about priorities for the bank, which lent $57 billion last fiscal year,” Bloomberg News notes.

Kim’s tour comes as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former managing director at the bank and Nigeria’s current finance minister, “mounted a challenge for the leadership of the poverty-fighting lender,” telling reporters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, “I’ll bring unique advantages of knowing the strengths and the weaknesses of the institution as well as being somebody who’s actually managed a complex economy in a developing country,” the news service adds (Rastello/Mazen, 3/28). Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian economist and the third nominee, on Wednesday “criticized the seven-decade old tradition in which the top job at the bank has always been assigned to an American” and said the “World Bank needs to move toward a merit-based election” for its presidency, the Wall Street Journal notes (Crowe, 3/28). Reuters adds, “Ocampo knows he faces a tough battle to head the World Bank but he hopes his bid will pave the way for developing countries to one day lead the global development institution” (Wroughton, 3/29).

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