The Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, Oby Ezekwesili, has confirmed her intention to vacate the position to afford her the opportunity to champion civil society engagements in Nigeria.
The former minister for solid minerals and later education, who is known to mentor several young leaders as well as the driver for the viral phrase “The Turning Point Generation”, has declared that her final exit from the bank would be in May this year.
An official release from the office of the World Bank President, Bob Zoellic, announced: “Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, Vice President for Africa, after five years of important and successful service to the Bank and to Africa, will return to Nigeria in early May.
“Oby joined the Bank in 2007. Last year, I asked her to extend another year, delaying her return home, to begin implementation of the new strategy, “Africa’s Future and World Bank support to It,“ that she did so much to develop.
“Under Oby’s leadership, our Africa team employed innovation, knowledge, partnership and financial services to strengthen results across Africa and to improve the prospects for Africa’s economic performance. Her close attention to the needs of our clients, engagement with African leadership and with regional institutions — such as the African Union, EAC and ECOWAS — as well as with the UN and other partners, has helped us to leverage our effectiveness across Africa.
“Oby has done excellent work mobilizing private sector engagement and better connecting Africa’s development to that of other regions, particularly through South-South partnerships.
“Oby has built a strong team across the range of the Bank’s work: infrastructure and human development; agricultural production and productivity; private sector development; economic reforms to overcome poverty; and governance and accountability. Reflecting her experience and background, “Oby has been a relentless campaigner for transparency and against corruption.
She has also led in the use of ICT for development; in supporting social accountability mechanisms through civil society engagement; and in promoting innovative approaches to regional integration. The new Bank strategy for Africa and its implementation plan, both developed under Oby’s leadership, offer a strong legacy.
“I also appreciate Oby’s close work with IFC and MIGA, underscoring the interconnectivity across the World Bank Group to achieve better and more far-reaching impact.
“Oby will be working with civil society to help strengthen public sector capacity, and work especially with young people and women.”