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David R. Malpass officially takes 13th President of the World Bank Group

10.04.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
After several months of brainstorming on who would be at the helm of the World Bank Group Presidency, nature finally favoured David R. Malpass. The deliberations kick- stated on January 9, 2019, under the auspices of World Bank Dean Dr Merza Hasan prior to Jim Yong Kim’s resignation which was to take effect from February 1, 2019. On April 5th 2019, the board of directors of the World’s financial body unanimously agreed to vote into office US treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass as the 13th President of the World Bank Group. Mr Malpass is expected to head one of the world’s most renowned financial institutions for a period of five years. He officially takes his work as the 13th President of the WBG on April 9, 2019.

David Malpass takes over from President Kristalina Georgieva, who served as the interim president of the World Bank after the abrupt resignation of Korean-American Jim Yong Kim early this year. The 59-year-old Jim Yong Kim resigned three years before the expiry of his second mandate in 2022.  No specific reason was advocated for his resignation, but a release from the WB revealed that he wanted to focus on infrastructure investment in less developed nations. The release that announced the election of David Malpass elucidated that the selection process was done following the ‘’selection process’ which the member states in one accord agreed in 2011. The rule called for an open and transparent appointment.

WHO IS DAVID MALPASS?

David Robert Malpass commonly known as David R. Malpass is an American citizen, born on March 8, 1958. Malpass is a renowned American Official and an economist. He studied international economy, author of a macroeconomics research firm stationed in New York City. He speaks English, Russian, French and Spanish. Before being selected as the World Bank Group leader,  the 62 year old  Malpass served under the Trump administration as the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for international affairs.  As undersecretary, Malpass represented the US in many important gatherings such as the G-7, G-20 Deputy Finance Ministerial, World Bank-IMF Spring and Annual Meetings, controls private investment cooperation. He also played a very vital role in trade talks between Washington and Beijing. It should be noted that President Donald Trump personally nominated Mr Malpass as the right person to occupy this position. The American economist is reported to have served as Trump’s Economic adviser during the 2016 race to the White House.  Now, in his capacity as the president of the World Bank Group, Malpass is expected to help the financial institution in attaining its myriads objectives, accentuating on the sustainable Financing for sustainable development paper.  Many regard Malpass as a strong critic of international financial bodies. He strongly criticized these institutions for being too lenient with the People’s Republic of China.

THE WORLD BANK GROUP (WBG)

The World Bank Group refers to a chain of five international organizations. It was created in the 90s after the Second World War. The five organisations that make up the World Bank Group include the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group. The bank gives out loans to developing states.  Its main objective is to curb poverty and foster visible prosperity. The WBG enjoys observer status at the United Nations Development Group. It is headquartered in Washington D.C. The 13th President of the WBG has promised to contribute his own quota towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Change Agenda in close collaboration with member states and together with multilateral institutions.

Pundits have often criticized the World Bank Group in the way it handles its election processes. The Bank is still very conservative in the manner it chooses its Presidents. As was originally arranged in the 1940s, an American was to be at the helm of the World Bank and a European controls the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Analysts have termed this as old-fashioned or archaic. However, a former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was in one of the nominees in 2012, but Korean-American Jim Yong Kim defeated him in the race.  Everything being equal, the world now waits with great expectation from David Malpass, as he officially assumes the Presidency of the World Bank Group.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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