As the world press begins to take an interest in the selection of Robert Zoellick’s successor, last week’s events prove one thing: Having a choice of candidates, for the first time, confirms that the job of World Bank president is important, and that stakeholders care. Continue reading
Has anyone heard a peep out of Jim Yong Kim? He wants to be President of the world’s most influential development institution, yet – as far as I can tell – he hasn’t given a single interview to any press outlet anywhere.
“He is a very competent doctor, but if we speak strictly about development experience, the Nigerian minister and I amply surpass him.”
- Former World Bank Director and Harvard Professor, John Briscoe, writes in the Hindu : “A time for India to stand up and be counted“
- Former World Bank Managing Editor, Kevin Rafferty, in the Japan Times, writes : “Don’t dance to U.S. tune on World Bank presidency”
- The New York Times editorial: “Leading the World Bank”
- Patrick Brennan, in the well known conservative National Review magazine, writes: “Wrong Man for the Job : Brilliant in global health, Jim Yong Kim is unsound on economics.”
- Felix Salmon of Reuters writes: ” Why Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should run the World Bank”
Ocampo has finally flexed his muscles in the WB President race, arguing in a FT interview that Jim Yong Kim “lacks expertise”. Ocampo says:
“I think in terms of development expertise it is quite clear to everyone that the finance minister of Nigeria and myself stand above the US candidate, who has very narrow expertise in development. He is an excellent physician, nobody denies that, but we’re talking about a development institution.” Continue reading
In a very pointed editorial, the Economist comes out in support of Ngozi without mincing words. In “Hats off to Ngozi: A golden opportunity for the rest of the world to show Barack Obama the meaning of meritocracy”, the Economist puts its argument this way:
“For almost 70 years, the leadership of the IMF and World Bank has been subject to an indefensible carve-up. The head of the Continue reading
As US nominee Jim Yong Kim sets off on a global “listening tour” to promote his candidacy, he has declared his priorities for the Bank in an FT op-Ed. While thin on actual policy content, Kim gives strong support for “an open, inclusive World Bank” which “must give developing nations a greater voice.” He also attempts to calm the ‘anti-growth’ storm, by confirming that he recognises “that economic growth is vital to generate resources for investment in health, education and public goods.” Continue reading
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.
Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), organisation that Ocampo lead during 1998-2003, wrote a Spanish article arguing why José Antonio Ocampo is the best candidate for the Bank’s presidency. Here are some of the main arguments:
José Antonio Ocampo has an “outstanding career in academia, in the advancement of development theories, direct management of public policy and intellectual leadership to display original paths to progress.”
“He has examined in depth Continue reading
The FT published an editorial on Tuesday arguing that Nigeria’s minister of the economy and finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, should get the World Bank presidency job. While recognising that the US candidate Jim Yong Kim “could be a good choice” because of his background in health and his managerial experience at the World Health Organisation, the FT states that “the Bank needs more than this”:
“Its new leader should have a command of macroeconomics, the respect of leaders of both the funding and the funded countries, and the management skills to implement his or her vision. These requirements make Ms Okonjo-Iweala the best person for the role.”
Below is a guest post from Vitalice Meja, Coordinator of Reality of Aid Africa Network.
The current debate on the next president to the World Bank is as interesting as it is puzzling. While for the first time there seems an opportunity for a candidate from a developing country to take over, the debate seems to focus around supporting individuals rather than their credentials on development agenda and transformation.
World Bank is a global institution and leading it requires a President who has an acumen to address the challenges that affect the world in a very pragmatic and dynamic manner. Such a candidate should not be limited by the failed ideological formations that have underpinned the institution of the World Bank.
For those in the developing world especially Africa, certain elements are paramount in deciding the right president for the bank. These include the following Continue reading