Financial Times says Okonjo-Iweala is best candidate for World Bank presidency

As the battle for the presidency of the World Bank toughens, finance experts are gravitating towards the candidacy of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who recently described herself as the candidate of choice for the developing world.

London’s Financial Times, in a flowery review of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, pronounced her “the best person for the role”.

“If the Bank’s shareholders wanted the best president, they would opt for Ms Okonjo-Iweala,” the international business newspaper said in its Tuesday’s editorial piece.

FT’s broad argument in favour of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, who currently serves as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, harps in on several factors which they consider as her strengths over her major contender, Jim Yong Kim, who has been handpicked by the US government as their candidate of choice.

While on previous occasions, America’s endorsement implied an automatic appointment into the coveted position based on an arrangement that assigns the World Bank presidency to the US and the position of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Europe, recent agitation especially from developing countries, the main focus of the World Bank, has put the US in an uncomfortable position.

Questions and arguments have emerged over the validity of imposing candidates from the developed world to tackle issues in the World Bank which mainly concern the development of the so called Third World.

FT raises arguments in this regard and chides President Barack Obama for not taking this current dissatisfaction from developing countries into consideration.

The newspaper said that Mr. Obama’s choice, albeit with impeccable records, did not quite meet up with the requirements for the position.

“But the Bank needs more than this. Its new leader should have a command of macroeconomics, the respect of leaders of both the funding and the funded countries, and the management skills to implement his or her vision. These requirements make Ms Okonjo-Iweala the best person for the role.

“Ms Okonjo-Iweala has real-world experience of policy-making in one of the most challenging developing countries. Her experience in tackling corruption would be helpful in the battle against the misuse of Bank funds,” the newspaper argues.

FT also seemed to corroborate  Mrs.Okonjo-Iweala’s claims that she has the support of developing countries, describing this advantage as the “more symbolic aspect” of her candidature.

“Ms Okonjo-Iweala’s merits are amplified by another, more symbolic aspect. Having an African woman at the helm of the world’s leading development institution would send a strong signal both to developing and developed countries.”

Interviews for the three candidates for the World Bank Presidency have been fixed for the 4th, 9th and 11th April.

The decision on the winner is expected to be announced on the 11th.

If selected, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would be the first non-American to head the organization.


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  • Edet

    The FT is corrupt. Okonjo-Iweala has never fight corruption: infact she is corrupt herself. Has FT investigated the purchase of N1b house by the woman? Where did she get the money if not through corrupt means. FT cannot poit at any impact this corrupt woman has made to the lives of the masses of Nigeria except to allow herself to be used by the western interests to subtlily take away $12b Nigerian fund and give it to those whose interests are protected by FT. Her candidature to the position of world bank president is dead on arrival.

    • Oluwatosin

      I understand you Eder, but please dont ask questions like where she got 1B house and stuff. She can choose to buy whatever….

      However, I agree that she need proper investigation to the core! it is better she doesnt hold this position than she getting it, and then stigmatizing Nigeria with a bad name. You know, because it can affect other Nigerians who has a bright)(er) future in the UN.

  • Lanre

    Well in this day and age when a top official of the Tory party can ask for “donations” to see the British P.M, anything is possible. FT’s write-up has no logic to it.

  • frankbuttrue

    Edet, where is the N1B house?

  • Oluwatosin

    this is a good news that a Nigerian will be taking such a prestigious and crucial position. I am happy, but SHE BETTER NOT MESS UP!, like seriously…SHE BETTER NOT MESS UP! the people she will be dealing with are not ready for Nigerian ways of handling money…..SHE BETTER NOT MESS UP, and dont embarrass me.

    Ghanian UN member…..cant recall his name…he holds a very crucial position in the UN Assembly too, and he is doing great. I see news paper every welll. JUST DONT MESS UP.

    This is the begining of a good thing in African, but I beg you, PLEASE DONT MESS UP!