by Rachel Ogbu
The African Union on Monday endorsed the candidacy of finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become World Bank president. At the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party which took place over the weekend in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala, thanked African leaders for their backing in her bid to lead the World Bank.
In a statement released by the union, Okonjo-Iweala had undisputed credentials to lead the World Bank.
The AU said:
“The AUC is pleased to note that Africa has such a nominee in the person of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who possesses undisputed credentials in terms of her technical and managerial expertise, as well as a strong track record as a development professional, both inside and outside the World Bank. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has spent more than two decades in the World Bank, rising through the ranks to the top management level as Managing Director. At the same time, she brings on board a rich experience of managing a very complex economy.
As Minister of Finance for Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country, she has demonstrated capacity to successfully drive reforms, having dealt effectively with a variety of issues. In her recent expanded role as Coordinating Minister for the Economy, she has also been adept in managing cross-sectional issues, ranging from agriculture to health, education and infrastructure. On another level, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has honed her diplomatic skills as Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs during the course of her career.”
“Sincerely, I feel honoured by the decision of African leaders to back me for the job and I believe that the final decision on who occupies the office would be beneficial to the global community. It is elating that across the continent, the leaders spoke with one voice, and their gesture is directed at me; I am eternally grateful to them all for their support,” she said at the event.
According to the Vanguard, African powers, including Angola, Nigeria and South Africa endorsed the nomination of the 57-year-old Nigerian Finance Minister, who is the only woman in the race and is said to be the most experienced of the three candidates which includes; Asian-American Jim Yong Kim and Jose Antonio Ocampo, the 59-year-old Colombian.
Okonjo-Iweala also enjoys the backing of emerging markets for the position of the World Bank President after the expiration of tenure of the incumbent President, Mr. Robert Zoellick.
The politics of her current assignment aside, you’ve got to be proud of this Nigerian woman.