Ocampo: “the World Bank president should be selected on the basis of merits”

While receiving less media attention, José Antonio Ocampo appears to be an interesting candidate for those who seek for a developing country candidate capable (and willing) to take forward the Post-Washington Consensus agenda.

Ngozi Okonjo Iewala, the Financial Times candidate, has been criticized for supporting the Washington Consensus and top-down solutions. Also, it was pointed out that the fact that she spent 20 years at the Bank might help her to better understand how the institution works, but it is most probably a limitation to bring new ideas or a change in mentality at the Bank.

Ocampo, on the contrary, is being mentioned as the best placed to achieve “a new governance of the international financial institutions” and praised for being part of the Latin Americans who challenged neoliberal policies in the region.

The CNN interviewed Ocampo yesterday, from where we can get a glimpse of what he intends to change at the Bank:

On the agenda:

I think the World Bank should, to start with, be more engaged with major economic issues.  Particularly with diversification of the developing countries.  Both low-income countries and middle-income countries, because there are different challenges at each stage of development.  And this issue has been largely ignored by the World Bank for some time.

Some of the issues that were in the past but were somewhat ignored should be emphasised, particularly the issue of infrastructure.  Which was, of course, the main priority of the World Bank from, say the 1950s to the 1970s.  It was largely ignored during the period of structural reforms – and is back.

On his contenders:

I think from the perspective of experience and development, there is no doubt that the minister of finance of Nigeria and myself, we have a broader perspective on development issues.  Economic, social and environmental.

On the selection process:

 Whether the view that the World Bank president should be selected on the basis of merits, in what they can offer the World Bank, I think is what we have to see.  I really hope that this is the standard by which the board will select the next president of the World Bank.

12 thoughts on “Ocampo: “the World Bank president should be selected on the basis of merits”

  1. I support Ngozi Okonjo Iewala, but that does not mean that the other could not be good to… and when it really gets down to the nitty gritty who knows what votes count.

  2. if we are really serious with the world bank so as to achieve its goals Ngozi is the right person, politics should be placed aside and selection be based on merit.

  3. It is about time to have this much needed shift…Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the most suitable candidate for this position considering her rich pedigree that cuts across Africa, Asia South America and Europe.

  4. I think the job of the world bank president is not an experimental one.
    Let the person who has expirience and the track record man the affairs of the bank and move it forward. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in my opinion is the prefered candidate for this position but not undermining the capacity of the other candidates.

  5. I think the choice should be based on merits and not sentiments.I believe each candidate’s history of service is a great indicator of what they can possibly achieve in the future of World Bank all things being equal.There should no room for experiments;we should be ‘students of history.’

  6. I think the choice should be based on merits and not sentiments.I believe each candidate’s history of service is a great indicator of what they can possibly achieve in the future of World Bank all things being equal.There should be no room for experiments;we should be ‘students of history.’

  7. Dr. Kim candidacy seems a painful error from Mr. Obama. His experience is well suited for another International Health Institution, but not to lead and change the most important development institution in the planet. Let the development economists from emerging coutries do the job, they are exceptionally capable well trained to accomplish it. The new president must be chosen based on acknowledge and experience in the field, but on winks.

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