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Statement By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala After Dr. Kim’s Appointment As World Bank President

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Nigeria's Finance Minister Okongo iweala
Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okongo iweala

I would like to congratulate Dr Jim Yong Kim on his emergence as President of the World Bank Group. I look forward to working with him, staff and stakeholders of the World Bank Group for the benefit of poor people around the world. Their plight is at the heart of the mandate of the institution and we must never lose sight of that.

With regard to the selection process, it is clear to me that we need to make it more open, transparent and merit-based. We need to make sure that we do not contribute to a democratic deficit in global governance.

Nevertheless, by our participation we have won important victories. We have shown what is possible. Our credible and merit-based challenge to a long-standing and unfair tradition will ensure that the process of choosing a World Bank president will never be the same again. The struggle for greater equity and fairness has reached a critical point and the hands of the clock cannot be turned back.

I congratulate Dr Jose Antonio Ocampo for being a worthy participant and for his decision to withdraw his candidacy in my favour.

I am proud of Africa for displaying great unity in supporting my candidacy. I am proud of my country Nigeria for standing by me. I want to thank all the African leaders, but particularly President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his resolute support, along with other leaders – President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Chair of the African Union, Mr Jean Ping. Africa has stood for the right principles throughout these processes. I am proud to be African.

I want to thank other developing countries who supported my candidacy. I also thank the Nigerian public, the National Assembly and the Nigerian and international media for their analyses and support. I am deeply grateful to the numerous groups and individuals in different parts of the world that worked so hard and so passionately in my support.

It was a worthwhile battle. Now it is time to move on and contribute to the search for solutions to the many developmental challenges that confront the world.

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