Who came up on top?

I’m already hearing from sources who attended the three interviews over the last three days that Ngozi has come up as the top candidate, followed closely by Ocampo, with Dr. Kim a distant third. Three things have worked for Ngozi to push her over Ocampo, she knows the bank inside-out,  has experience on both sides of the table – a client and world banker-, and that she is an African woman supported by the whole African Union. This, if selected, will make her not only the first non-American to head the bank, but also the first woman, and first African. In the words of the Economist, “May the best woman win”

Jim Yong Kim’s statement to the World Bank’s board

The Treasury Department has published the statement that US nominee, Jim Yong Kim, made Wednesday morning to the in camera session of the World Bank’s executive directors before a lengthy questioning and a private lunch.

CSO colleagues who have been skeptical about the process and about Jim Kim’s writings, background and commitment  should read the ending Continue reading

Red flags at Ngozi’s CGD speech

Ngozi gave a speech and took part in a question and answer session at CGD recently. She was her usual effusive and passionate self, although often a little vague when it came to policy positions. The mainstream press has picked up on her campaign motifs: she put a large emphasis on job creation (although her actual record on job creation is called into question here), and on the Bank delivering finance/results/technical assistance faster. The Washington Post covers some more things here, including her insistence that US capital contriutions will not be threatened by a non-US candidate.

On some issues she seemed to demand significant changes at the Bank. She said the Bank should look at the African Development Bank for lessons on selecting leaders, seemingly endorsing double-majority voting, and said there needs to be a serious conversation about increasing capital contributions and voting shares for MICs.

There were however some other interesting points I think should be brought to light. These seem to indicate that on many issues she is sticking to already well-developed Bank approaches, and reaffirm her status as the ‘establishment choice’. Reformers and revolutionaries beware. On other issues she raised various red flags for campaigners: Continue reading

With Ngozi appearances deceive

Patrick Bond’s three part essay on the race for the presidency for the World Bank, published below, contains a long section on Ngozi. It is in part three and is well worth a read, as it one of the few times we have seen the Nigerain finance ministers record called seriously into question. Ngozi has been the subject of countless fawning op-eds from the commentariat in Washington and Europe, with very little analysis of her tenure at the Bank or in the Nigerian government. It seems strange that an elected official, nominated for such an important position, should not receive more scrutiny. She has run a smooth PR campaign thus far, and it seems journalists have exercised their energy on Kim, with little critical fuel left in the tank for Ngozi. Continue reading

“the World Bank is not a health charity”

A very convincing argument in support of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as President of the World Bank, at least me-thinks, by Maha Atal in Forbes Magazine;

“By far the most important reason to appoint Okonjo-Iweala is that she has experience on both sides of the table in the international lending negotiations that are the bread and butter of the Bank’s work. Continue reading

Over 100 economists endorse Ocampo

The great and the good are weighing into the World Bank President debate – in addition to the senior Bank staffers coming out in support of Okonjo-Iweala, over one hundred well respected economists have come out for Ocampo.  Here’s what they had to say:

We the undersigned economists, endorse the candidacy of Jose Antonio Ocampo for President of the World Bank.  Throughout his career Dr. Ocampo has managed and reformed national ministries of finance, agriculture and planning, and regional and global UN Agencies pertaining to economic development and social affairs.  Furthermore, he is one of the most noted development economists of our time.  It is our view that based his relative merits, Dr. Ocampo is the most suitable candidate for World Bank president.

Signatories (as at 1130 GMT 5th April- more are being added all the time) Continue reading