As expected, American nominee Jim Yong Kim has been named the next President of the World Bank according to sources within the bank. Mr. Kim was nominated by United States President Barak Obama last month to replace Robert Zoellick, who has held the position since 2007.
Earlier in the day, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala surprisingly admitted she did not really expect to be named to the coveted position. She told journalists, “You know this thing is not really being decided on merit…It is voting with political weight and shares, and therefore the United States will get it.”
Her defeatist remarks belied the tremendous energy she had put into returning to the bank as overall boss, but she tried to put a happy spin on it. “We have won a big victory,” she said. “Who gets to run the World Bank – we have shown we can contest this thing and Africa can produce people capable of running the entire architecture.”
With the distraction of the World Bank presidency contest now out of the way, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala returns to Abuja as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, a position where, many Nigerians feel, she needs to earn her credibility by snatching the economy from the ruling People’s Democratic Party, which is known to have ruined the entire architecture.