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  • Call for US to Lead to End World Bank Tradition

    Nigerian finance minister and a nominee for the World Bank top post, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says that the United States (US) should take the lead and break the long tradition of an American always heading the bank.

    Speaking after a ‘marathon’ three-and-a-half-hour interview by the World Bank board, Okonjo-Iweala, pointed out that the decision on who leads the global development institution should go to the candidate with the best skills for the job.

    Okonjo-Iweala said she did not ask for the support of countries but pressed them to ensure that the selection process is open and merit based.

    To read the article titled, “US should lead to end World Bank tradition,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Okonjo-Iweala for Top World Bank Job

    Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, challenger for the top job at the World Bank, says emerging-market countries need to be given a voice in running things.

    Okonjo-Iweala points out that, "The balance of power in the world has shifted and emerging market countries are contributing more and more to global growth - more than 50 percent - and they need to be given a voice in running things."

    Ms Okonjo-Iweala, 57, was nominated by African power houses Nigeria, South Africa and Angola to lead the poverty-fighting institution when its current president, Robert Zoellick, steps down in June.

    To read the article titled, “World Bank must mirror global shift, Okonjo-Iweala says,” click here.

    Business Day
  • World Bank Job for SA Academic

    Professor Barney Jordaan, adjunct faculty member of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, will serve as a mediator with the World Bank Group Office of Mediation Services.

    In a press statement, the faculty points out that, “Prof Jordaan is among only a handful of people who are selected  as external consultants to the bank based on their extensive knowledge of workplace and labour law, civil rights law, dispute resolution theory, and practice and mediation.”

    Jordaan, an employment law practitioner and head of the business school’s Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement, will assist part-time the World Bank Group’s Mediation Offices in African countries with internal dispute resolution, primarily in a mediation capacity.

    To read the article titled, "SA prof lands World Bank job," click here.
  • World Bank Pledges Support for CSOs

    The World Bank says it will support Nigerian civil society to make government more accountable to the people.
    In a press statement, the bank’s president, Robert Zoellick, affirms that citizens' participation and good governance are crucial for economic development in any country.
    "Our message to our clients, whatever their political system, is that you cannot have successful development without good governance and without the participation of your citizens,” argues Zoellick.
    To read the article titled, “Polls - World Bank pledges support for civil society,” click here.
    All Africa
  • NOGAID Welcomes World Bank Package to Poorest Nations

    International development organisation, Northern Ghana Aid (NOGAID), has lauded the US$49.3 billion World Bank Group assistance package to poorest countries under the International Development Authority (IDA 16) of the bank.

    NOGAID executive chairperson, Mustapha Sanah, notes that the climate is right to improve on the fragile economies of Africa and maximising growth through investment in areas that will improve the well-being of the people.

    Sanah further expressed the need for beneficiaries of the fund to prioritise their development programmes and strive to reduce waste in the public sector by improving transparency and accountability in governance.

    To read the article titled, “NGO commends World Bank for US$49.3b package to poorest nations,” click here.
    Ghana Business News
  • South Centre: "Why the IMF and the International Monetary System Need More than Cosmetic Reform"

    South Centre report argues that the G20 agenda misses some of the key issues for reform of the international monetary system.

    The hopes of a rapid global economy recovery have recently been dashed by renewed turmoil in the world economy. The sovereign debt problems in several European countries, the gyrations in currency exchange rates, volatility in capital flows, and the war of words among major economies over “trade sanctions” and “competitive devaluations” are some of the many troubling signs of a new crisis that may be worse than the 2008-9 crisis triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage problem.

    The South Centre report on “”Why the IMF and the International Monetary System Need More than Cosmetic Reform” authored by the Centre's Special Economic Advisor, Yilmaz Akyüz argues that these recent problems reflect the lack of international mechanisms to prevent financial crises that have global repercussions and that threaten to spill over to the trading and economic systems.

    The report points out that:
    • There are no effective rules and regulations to bring inherently unstable international financial market and capital flows under control;
    • There is no multilateral discipline over misguided monetary, financial and exchange rate policies in systemically important countries despite their strong adverse international spillovers;
    • National and international policy makers are preoccupied primarily with resolving crises by supporting those who are responsible for these crises, rather than introducing institutional arrangements to reduce the likelihood of their recurrence.
    Through such interventions, they are creating more problems than they are solving, and indeed sowing the seeds for future difficulties.

    The South Centre report is being issued on the eve of the G20 Summit in Seoul in early November. The G20 has established itself as the forum to deal with the financial crisis.

    According to the report, however, the G20 and the IMF agenda does not include some of the most important issues that need to be addressed to deal adequately with the financial crisis or prevent future crises.

    The missing issues include enforceable exchange rate and adjustment obligations, orderly sovereign debt workout mechanisms and the reform of the international reserves system.

    Developing countries are especially vulnerable to the effects of the global financial problems, and they also have limited capacity to respond to shocks. They thus have a special interest in the reform of the international financial and monetary system, including the IMF.

    The reforms should lead to the establishment of an orderly and equitable international monetary and financial system. However, if this does not materialise, developing countries should find ways and means of protecting themselves and looking after their interests through regional mechanisms.

    These include arrangements regarding regional currencies and exchange rate mechanisms, intra-regional provision of international liquidity, policy surveillance and regulation of financial markets and capital flows.

    Global solutions are better than such regional arrangements and developing countries should strive to realise them. But if major economic powers do not cooperate in building the new global system, it is definitely better to have the regional arrangements than to have a “non-system” in which the developing countries continue to be the victims of global financial crises.

    The report can be accessed at the South Centre website ( or by clicking here.

    For more information, please contact Vicente Paolo Yu of the South Centre: EMAIL, or telephone 41 22 791 8050
  • World Bank Frees Up Development Data

    The World Bank Group said today it will offer free access to more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics that had mostly been available only to paying subscribers.

    The decision─part of a larger effort to increase access to information at the World Bank─means that researchers, journalists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), entrepreneurs and school children alike will be able to tap into the World Bank's databases via a new website,

    Experts say the Bank's open data initiative has the potential to stimulate more evidence-based policymaking in developing countries by bringing more researchers and innovative analysis into the development process. The move is also likely to stimulate demand for data and increase countries' capacity to produce it, they say.

    And, for the first time, data will be available in languages other than English, with an initial 330 indicators translated into French, Spanish and Arabic.

    “It’s important to make the data and knowledge of the World Bank available to everyone," World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said. "Statistics tell the story of people in developing and emerging countries and can play an important part in helping to overcome poverty.”

    The World Bank will launch an "Apps for Development” challenge later this year to give developers around the world incentives to “transform datasets into new applications to help tackle existing development challenges, such as infant mortality , literacy and extreme poverty."

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  • NGOs Criticise World Bank Over Climate Change Funds

    Environmentalists have protested outside the main entrance to the United Nations climate conference in Poznan in an attempt to keep the World Bank from controlling climate change finance.

    International Finance Campaigner Karen Orenstein with Friends of the Earth US says: "The World Bank is not a credible institution to play any role in addressing the climate crisis. Its Climate Investment Funds are irreparably flawed and should be shut down."

    NGOs are critical of the World Bank in part because they say least developed countries deserve grants, not loans, to adapt to global warming caused by the greenhouse gas emissions of the industrialised economies.

    To read the article titled, “NGOs oppose World Bank management of climate funds, click here.
    Environment News Service
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