The election of David Malpass as the new president of the World Bank Group is evidently predictable by trends and patterns of appointment to the highest office of the Bank. Trump pick, Mr Malpass’ five-year term will begin on April 9 after the expiration of Jim Yong Kim's tenure as head. Since 1946, when Eugene Meyer laid the groundwork for a global financial institution, Africa, with over 50 countries and despite the array of great intellectuals and professionals in the financial sector, it remains a minority.
If the US does not support you, you are simply not fit. At least that's the obvious reality, unfortunately.
As it stands, the wait for an African World Bank President will continue to linger. The question is about the representative nature of the body. How has the continent faired and of course, is the World Bank Group an extension of Bretton Woods? It is estimated that African countries owe the international body to the tune of $35 billion, and of course, more debt meant more improvement. Projects often approved by the Group is centered on its desire to rake in funds for the lenders. Isn't that what banking is all about? It never exists to give but in giving, it must have the potential to receive back in like sum or much more than that which it lends.
Like the IMF, the Global financial body has always colluded with corrupt, inept government to make deals and for projects that are counterproductive to the African people.
The executive directors followed the selection process agreed in 2011. Kristalina Georgieva was the interim President for months and the likes of Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo Iweala will have to watch and perhaps, may be understand why the continent needs its own economic blueprint.
The process of selecting a World Bank President involves an open transparent nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director. However, the intrigues that play out reveals its not as free as portrayed.
From the last to the first, here are the list of former presidents of the World Bank, a list mostly dominated by Europeans and Americans:
Jim Yong Kim
July 2012 - February 2019
Oversaw a Bank-wide reorganization, an historic capital increase, the launch of the Human Capital Index, and a sizable investment in the fight against climate change.
Robert B. Zoellick
July 2007 - June 2012
Mr. Zoellick modernized and recapitalized the Bank, ramping up its crisis response and making it more accountable, flexible, fast-moving, transparent, and focused on good governance and anti-corruption.
June 2005 - June 2007
Known as a good governance banker who pushed through controversial governance and anti-corruption strategy after extensive global consultations. Placed Africa at the heart of the Bank's poverty reduction agenda.
James D. Wolfensohn
June 1995 - May 2005
Known as the "Renaissance Banker." Pushed through reforms that have made the Bank more inclusive, with a renewed focus on poverty reduction.
September 1991 - May 1995
Distinguished commercial banker. Created a client-oriented vision for the Bank as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
July 1986 - August 1991
Spurred on the "greening" of the Bank. "...became effective spokesman for the Bank and persuasively advanced the institution's reform agenda." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996.
Alden Winship Clausen
July 1981 - June 1986
Improved the financial management of the Bank. Wrestled with the onset of recession and the 1980s debt.
Robert Strange McNamara
April 1968 - June 1981
Expansionist with a social consciousness. "...indefatigable builder and wielder of influence on behalf of the Bank and the development cause." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996.
George David Woods
January 1963 - March 1968
...credited with a great vision for the Bank and a number of bold innovations. - The World Bank: Its First Half Century, Brookings Institution 1997
Eugene Robert Black
July 1949 - December 1962
Built a solid financial foundation and led the Bank into an era of financial diplomacy. Much-admired chairman of the Board and popular CEO.
John Jay McCloy
March 1947 - June 1949
Started up the Bank's business and lifted its vision from reconstruction to development.
June 1946 - December 1946
Laid the groundwork for lasting Bank business policies.
Header Image Credit: The Atlantic