Interview with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“We are not just going into this saying to ourselves we are already defeated,” she said, speaking by telephone from Abuja. “We are hoping that the Bretton Woods institutions and their shareholders will keep their word.”

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3 thoughts on “Interview with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

  1. I don’t know why the US nominee should be ‘opposed vehemently enough’ that one of the others gets the nod. Reviews of Ngozi’s time at the Bank are very mixed, even on this website, and Inner City Press has raised some concerns about Ocampo and an obscure scandal at the UN.

    It’s time to focus on what the candidates would offer, and how their skills, perspective and record, together, match what the Bank needs. The past is a good indicator of what they’ve done before, but vision is what the Bank needs, and a willingness to see things in a new way.

    And the process is the process. There will be no public debates, no Al-Jazeera interviews beyond press avails or photo ops on exiting Bank governors’ offices, no votes by Bank staff, and no telecasts of the interviews on the three dates in early April that the Bank’s board has set.

    Focus on the needs, and then on what the candidates bring. For the first time ever, the US has gone through a process, and all the White House gets in return is sniping. That process was, no doubt, more consultative than finance ministers meeting “in the margins” of G20 meetings in Mexico, safe from NGO view and influence.

  2. A most interesting point – you are right, the Articles are silent on how the EDs should “select a President”. The board has said they want to do this by “consensus”. In other international forums, this often means that the least disagreeable candidate wins. So if the US candidate were opposed vehemently enough….

  3. It is a good moment to quote some of the relevant articles of incorporation of the World Bank:

    Section 10. Political Activity Prohibited The Bank and its officers shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member; nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member or members concerned. Only economic considerations shall be relevant to their decisions, and these considerations shall be weighed impartially in order to achieve the purposes stated in Article I.

    Section 4. Executive Directors (a) The Executive Directors shall be responsible for the conduct of the general operations of the Bank, and for this purpose, shall exercise all the powers delegated to them by the Board of Governors.

    Section 5. President and Staff (a) The Executive Directors shall select a President

    As these articles could and perhaps should be interpreted, is that the Executives Directors should vote for the candidate they personally believe serves best the World Bank.

    And I would dare to say that sort of puts this decision in a different perspective.

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