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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Contest for World Bank President


Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

It will be a miracle if Nigeria’s finance minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala wins the contest for the new President of the World Bank, because I cannot see her beating Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the candidate of the United States of America, the largest shareholder in the World Bank and jointly controls 54% of the votes with Europe and Japan for the appointment of a new president. In fact, the U.S has already struck a deal with the EU by supporting the appointment of their candidate Christine Lagarde of France to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for the EU’s support of the U.S. in the leadership of the World Bank.


President Barack Obama of the U.S. is proud of their candidate, Korean-American Dr. Jim Yong Kim.
"He's worked from Asia to Africa to the Americas – from capitals to small villages. The World Bank is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce poverty and raise standards of living around the globe, and Jim’s personal experience and years of service make him an ideal candidate for this job," Obama said.

The countries with major voting shares are in the following order:

United States of America (15.85%)
Japan (6.84%)
China (4.42%)
Germany (4.00%)
United Kingdom (3.75%)
France (3.75%)
India (2.91%)
Russia (2.77%)
Saudi Arabia (2.77%)
Italy (2.64%).

South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Greece, Brazil, India and Spain also have influential voting shares.

How many of these countries will support Dr. Okonjo-Iweala?

If Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is more qualified than Dr. Yong Kim, she cannot claim to be more qualified than Colombian Prof. José Antonio Ocampo of Columbia University who is the flag bearer of South America. And if the contest becomes a choice between him and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, the U.S. will definitely support Prof. Ocampo to secure their stronghold in the Americas where they have more strategic interests than in Africa.


Prof. José Antonio Ocampo

As much as the African Union and many allies of Nigeria in Africa and the Middle East would prefer Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, she is not even loved by majority of her own people in Nigeria since she was found wanting during the nationwide strike and popular Occupy Nigeria protests against the removal of the subsidy on petrol. She would have been stoned if she dared to step into the midst of the protesters who thronged into the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota in Lagos in January. They did not spare her when they rallied against President Goodluck Jonathan and his cabinet and she is yet to convince them that she is working for the best interests of the majority of Nigerians and not an apologist of the corrupt government of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Nigeria. She has been accused of being complicit in the unsuccessful economic policy of the government since she returned after her resignation during the administration President Olusegun Obasanjo. In fact, majority of Nigerians don’t care who becomes the next President of the World Bank, because they see the bank as another arm of the imperial Western powers exploiting the human and mineral resources of Nigeria and the rest of Africa in the camouflage of different loans and projects.


~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

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