Que sera, sera! Zoellick and Shaha at the WB

In its section of “l’homme de la semaine” (Man of the week!) of last week’s edition (No 2421), JEUNE AFRIQUE describes the man who will be the next president of the World Bank. I realize that he is just a nominee but I do consider it a “fait accompli” since the buzz about other prospects has died down and the man in question seems to be the de facto candidate. The article, written by Alain Faujas, the Washington-based correspondent of Le Monde, gives a good overview of what we have read in the North American and British media since the announcement. A translated version, graciously provided by a reader, can be read here. However, in the same edition, we have the best part from Sonia Mabrouk who asks the question:”And Shaha in all that ?” Looks like it is splitsville between Shaha and Wolfowitz! According to the writer: “in this terrible business of nepotism, he has lost everything: his job as President, the respect of the majority of his collaborators and even…..the recipient of his undue favours“.Reason for the break-up: Wolfie did not defend her during the revolt of the last two months even though, last year, he has threatened Xavier Coll that he will “fuddle duddle” anyone who crosses their path to monetary cum political and power nirvana.

Well Shaha is getting back into her Boudica persona to protect her son and herself. She is an angry woman who is trying to save whatever reputation is left. Contrary to what this whole affair has led us to believe, it is mentioned that she is neither a money grabber nor a manipulator who uses her charms to get whatever she aspires to. As the daughter of a rich and successful Libyan businessman in Saudi Arabia, we are told that she is not interested in money but that her main concern is her career and considers herself to be a victim of discrimination because of her ethnicity and religion. As July is drawing closer, she is getting ready to get back to the World Bank but we all know what is awaiting her. The SAIC interlude whilst she was still an active member of the Bank’s staff in 2003. Will that be a good reason to give her the axe? That’s what one of her detractors ( and she has many) is hoping for:”we are impatiently expecting her return”. Original version in French is here.