April 13th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

Watch GPS: Okonko-Iweala on the World Bank

The World Bank is expected to announce its new president next week. Tradition holds that this person is an American. But this year there are calls for the candidate to be a non-American. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s Finance Minister and she has some influential backers. She will be on GPS this Sunday at 10am and 1pm EST.

Here's an excerpt:

Fareed Zakaria: Tell me, do you - do you feel that the president of the United States' pick to head the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, is unqualified in the way that The Economist magazine editorialized this week?

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: I have tremendous respect for Dr. Jim Kim, the pick of the United States. But the argument is not really about nationality. The development committee of the World Bank, as well as the G20, have signed onto a merit-based open and transparent process for selecting the president of the World Bank. That means that it should be done based on who is best qualified from anywhere, regardless of nationality. So I think that, you know, we took that seriously. The leaders of the continent of Africa, who asked me to be a nominee, I think, took this seriously.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo has pulled out of the race. He knew he would have no chance. He hinted the likelihood that an American would be chosen given the US has the most votes at the World Bank. His withdrawal leaves just two candidates – Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Korean-American Jim Yong Kim, who is the favourite for the job.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:12 am |
    • JAL

      I think it is great for Fareed to focus on Africa.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • JAL

      J von, I find your input to be very informative and interesting. Dont stop...

      April 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  2. jimbob

    Hettlingen, your comments is a statement of fact. Like a news piece that we knew a couple of days ago. Why do you have to comment on EVERY article even when you have nothing to say. You don't need to. Go do something useful.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • patrick

      America is a free society; therefore, j. von hettlingen is allowed to participate in a forum as often as he likes.
      If you do not like him or agree with what he says, do not read his posts.

      April 14, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • JAL

        like +1

        April 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • JAL

      Dont listen to him J.von.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  3. Pete

    They sound like they have a chip on their shoulders.The continent of Africa for years was backed financially by the European powers,the Germans,Britts,and so on.So how can the head of the WORLD BANK be from Africa,one that needs are so many,has human rights violations across the continent left unopposed,has unfathonable corruption everywhere,even in their governments,and be non bias,that in it self is hypocricy of the greatest level.That's like an alcoholic running the liquor factory,that's ignorent....

    April 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Rz

      It is not likely that a "bank run" could ever occur at the World Bank But given all the global instabilities that currently exist, it would not be surprising to see an overall tenancy towards conservatism. So regardless of any upcoming changes in management or operations, it will be more interesting to monitor the activities of the shareholders and depositors going forward.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Maxime

      I'm African and I totally agree with you. I do not understand why Iweala, who has served a number of terms as one of our Nation's leaders, is not disqualified on the basis that Nigeria is in bad economic and social health. This should bring into question her leadership and ability to bring about significant and permanent change in a broken system.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:54 am |
      • Chisq

        I think you are part of the problem. Kim should also be blamed for America's Towering debt right? or for the plight of HIV/AIDS victims in the world? I mean he worked in the HIV unit of the WHO and we still have HIV plaguing the world, right? Educate yourself Mr "I'm African". Right now you sound silly. Iweala is qualified to head the bank and has offered herself as a CREDIBLE alternative to American/European Imperialism. It's a shame that Africans like you cannot be of any use to your continent. Shame!!! All we are saying is that the US should either provide a credible alternative to lead the bank or make the system merit based. Don't foist a "CLUELESS" tool on the world. What experience does KIM have? or is it for the sake of naming a candidate? Well, I'm glad that a woman and an African for the first time is more qualified than the American or European Male...

        April 15, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • Maxime

        Was Kim part of the Bush administration or the current Obama administration? Iweala served in the Obasanjo government and is currently serving in the current government. And the masses are still yet to see their lives improve in terms of basic amenities (security, health, water, electricity, public transportation, jobs, food) with good policies and investments from Nigerian lawmakers. Indeed, Iweala is well-educated and experienced but her leadership ability (which is a different ball game from 'knowledge') is still questionable.

        April 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • brian

      I think the issue here is competence not where you come from. Is the candidate corrupt? Is the candidate a dictator? Can we seperate where you come from and competence?

      April 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • Maxime

        You can if you choose to but you shouldn't. Not when you're evaluating somebody who has severally been part of failed governments. Btw smart decision by the World Bank's Board of Directors and US allies. Hearty congratulations Mr. Kim! Drinks to your success!

        April 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  4. JAL

    Thanks Fareed. I dont know how you keep up with everything, but you do! Thx.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  5. Abio Dun

    Madam Okonko-Iweala is well qualified for the position. I hope that she is successful.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  6. John Okon

    It's time to give an African a chance, being a finance minister in a developing economy and with wealth of experience in world she very qualified for this position.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  7. African Humanitarian

    It is difficult to view the loss a US candidate in favor of an African one, especially from Nigeria, which the Western and US media portray as a corrupt country. It is inevitable the World Bank changes its doctrine to stand for sustainable development in por countries, not to be used as a political tool for America to settle its morally ill- geopolitik.

    April 15, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  8. Barr. Viag

    Ngozi Iweala is no doubt qualified to lead the world bank but I strongly plead that she helps fix our dear country's economy and create jobs first and then we will wish her success in her next job

    April 15, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  9. smart

    YOU say corruption, human right violation, lotting and so on, in africa well this is the fact your government is pumping to you through the media. while they enrich your country with the money they acquire from this same africa ,look at livapool city in britian build with nigerian money by the colonial men, america was build by the same sweet of this same african with so many ill treat. you say human rights : america openly said no to pakistan membership to UN. please i can write a big book from their corruption . the different no doubt is that theirs is over shadowd with the development and africans' has no much development. even the expliotation by these so called developed countries is still going on nigeria and africa. but the matter is on individual not on country so please let us not talk of countries cos non is worthy of praise. i think NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA deserves it.

    April 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  10. Rz

    It may be possible that we are approaching a fork in the road with respect to globalism. Furthermore, the geopolitical landscape appears to be shifting. It would not come as a surprise if the World Bank and IMF fall into complacency, or are terminated altogether in the coming years.

    April 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
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