Dr. Jim Yong Kim today released a statement in response to his selection by the World Bank’s Executive Directors as 12th President of the World Bank:
I am honored to accept the Executive Directors decision to select me as the next President of the World Bank Group. I am delighted to succeed Robert Zoellick, who has served with excellence and distinction during the last five years, and I am grateful to the Bank’s member countries for the broad support I have received.
I have spoken with Minister Okonjo-Iweala and Professor Ocampo. They have both made important contributions to economic development, and I look forward to drawing on their expertise in the years to come.
It is befitting that I conclude my global listening tour in Peru. It was here in the shantytowns of Lima that I learned how injustice and indignity may conspire to destroy the lives and hopes of the poor. It was here that I saw how communities struggle to prosper because of a lack of infrastructure and basic services. It was here that I learned that we must raise our sights to match the aspirations of those most excluded. And it was here that I learned that we can triumph over adversity by empowering the poor and focusing on results.
As President, I will seek a new alignment of the World Bank Group with a rapidly changing world. Together, with partners old and new, we will foster an institution that responds effectively to the needs of its diverse clients and donors; delivers more powerful results to support sustained growth; prioritizes evidence-based solutions over ideology; amplifies the voices of developing countries; and draws on the expertise and experience of the people we serve.
My discussions with the Board and member countries point to a global consensus around the importance of inclusive growth. We are closer than ever to achieving the mission inscribed at the entrance of the World Bank – “Our Dream is a World Free of Poverty.” The power of this mission is matched by the talent of the World Bank Group staff. May this shared mission embolden our efforts to end the disparities which too often diminish our shared humanity. Let us work together to provide every woman and man with the opportunity to determine their own future.
However, there have been complaints from developing countries that their citizens should have a chance to run the bank. Two other nominees sought the job — Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and a former Colombian finance minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo.
The five-year term of the current president, Robert B. Zoellick, expires at the end of June. The 187-member institution focuses on development loans and fighting poverty.
Kim had the endorsement of President Barack Obama and other American leaders, and he was widely expected to be approved by the World Bank board. Despite his achievements and leadership in the area of global health, some analysts noted that Kim lacked the experience in finance and diplomacy of not only past presidents of the bank but also the other nominees.
No doubt, Africa is the weakest link on the international level, but will the world powers ever give Africa the opportunity to strengthen it’s global link? Run the World Bank, the International Criminal Court, the International Monetary Fund, and other international organizations? This are legitimate questions many Africans are speaking of in the world of today.