Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala Loses Bid to lead the World Bank

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In what appeared like a faith accompli, the twenty five board member of the World Bank nominated 52 year old Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the President of Breton Woods institution on Monday putting an end to the ambition of Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. South Korean, Jim Young Kim believed to have been nominated by US President; Barrack Obama will take over from Robert Zoellick whose tenure ends in July following a five-year term.

it is recalled that when José Antonio Ocampo, the former Colombian central banker and United Nations official and Nigerian Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala who was also the Managing Director of the World bank joined the race for the Presidency of the World Bank, not many gave them a chance even with the supports of the developing Nations. This is due to the fact that most of the European Countries as well as Japan, Russia and Mexico with large number of voters on the board have given their support for the United States of American candidate and eventual winner, Kim.

Dr. Kim who has been the president of Dartmouth College since 2009 is a global health expert, a physician and anthropologist by training. He is a founder of Partners in Health, a non-profit group that runs community-focused health programs in poor countries. Kim has worked at Harvard University and the World Health Organization, where he spearheaded a program to deliver antiretroviral treatments to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Prior to his emergence, Kim said he wanted to make the bank’s programs more data-driven. He is widely reported to have said, “there’s no one-size-fits-all. There’s no big idea that will lead to economic growth for everybody,” “I think we must be evidence-based and evidence-driven, and we must pay attention to local contexts”, he added. The continuous dominance of the US on the leadership of the World Bank has further been reinforced by the emergence of Kim as the appearance of the names of Ocampo and Okonjo-Iweala on the list of top contenders has failed to upturn the trend.

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