African finance ministers meet on W’Bank job

The finance ministers of Nigeria, South Africa and Angola would meet Friday in Pretoria to probably nominate a candidate for the topmost position at the World Bank. There had been reports that African finance ministers and those of other emerging countries had recommended the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minster of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to become President of the World Bank. But it was gathered that despite strong recommendations in her favour to take the plum job, including a reported endorsement by President Goodluck Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala may not be predisposed to accepting the job. The position of the World Bank President will become vacant in June when the current President, Mr. Robert Zoellick, completes his tenure. Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo, were said to have received endorsement from most finance ministers. The position of the World Bank president is traditionally reserved for the United States, while the position of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) goes to Europe. A woman has never led the World Bank and sources had said the Bank is focused on convincing a woman to enter the race. Despite the push by emerging nations, the United States has the bank’s largest voting share and is expected to win the support of most developed nations, making it likely that another American will succeed Zoellick. The US was yet to identify a nominee.


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