Okonjo-Iweala aims to be first female, African president of World Bank

Sequel to the resignation of World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, eligible candidates have started to signify interest in the top job.

One of them is Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has also expressed her readiness to take on the job.

Speaking with CNN’s Richard Quest on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Okonjo-Iweala said, “If the right person were to nominate, and if the circumstances are right and if people feel that I can do the job, yes.”

If Okonjo-Iweala gets the job, she would be the first female and first African to head the global bank in its 73 years in existence.

The current president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim,  had earlier in January announced that he would be stepping down from his position after more than six years in which the institution’s shareholders provided strong support to multiple initiatives to ensure that the Bank Group retained strong leadership in the world of global development.

Kim said in a statement, “It has been a great honour to serve as president of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.

“The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity.  Serving as president and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege.”

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The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association.

The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

Okonjo was at one time, the Minister of Finance in Nigeria under former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. According to Wikipedia, she has been at the World Bank for 25 years, where she rose to the position of a Managing Director, (operations).

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She sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, and the African Risk Capacity

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